This is a screenshot from a video featuring Dr. Ernie Goss discussing the April reading for the San Joaquin Valley Business Conditions Index.

published on May 21, 2018 - 2:13 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

The San Joaquin Valley Business Conditions Index has advanced into a range pointing to positive growth in the next three to six months.

“This is the 20th straight month that the overall index has moved above growth neutral,” said Ernie Goss, research faculty with the Craig School of Business at Fresno State. “Both durable and non-durable goods and manufacturing reported solid gains for the month. Food processing continues to be major contributor to regional growth.”

The index is a leading economic indicator from a survey of individuals making company purchasing decisions for firms in the counties Fresno, Kings, Madera and Tulare. The index is produced using the same methodology as that of the national Institute for Supply Management. A reading of more than 50.0 means a period of growth.

The overall index for April was 57.9, up from 53.7 in March.

The employment gauge moved four points to 54.6 percent for March.

“The San Joaquin region has experienced strong job growth at 2.9 percent over the past 12 months, or almost double the nation’s 1.5 percent expansion over the same period of time,” Goss said. “I expect the region to continue to add jobs, but at a somewhat slower pace for the next three to six months.”

According to the prices-paid index, which tracks the cost of purchased raw materials and supplies, declined for a third consecutive month from 77.1 to 73.3, but still indicated elevated inflationary pressures at the wholesale level. Inventories, meanwhile remained above the growth neutral for April, but grew at a slower pace, with an index of 52.8 compared to March’s 55.5 and February’s 54.4.

The new export orders index advanced to 52.2 from 46.0 in March, while the import index expanded to 57.5 from 52.8 in March. Orders were increased at 61.5, a difference of 9.6 from March. Production and sales were also up by ten from March at 61.6.

Meanwhile, business confidence indicates optimism, despite a drop to 65.9 from the previous 69.3.

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