Downtown Fresno skyline image by David Castellon
Written by David Castellon
Healthy economic growth is the forecast for the Valley over the next three to six months, according to the latest San Joaquin Valley Business Conditions Index.
Put out by economist Ernie Goss, a research associate for the Craig School of Business at Fresno State, the index is based on surveys of individuals making purchasing decisions for businesses in Fresno, Kings, Madera and Tulare counties.
Based on those surveys, October’s strong 58.2 rating rose to 59 in November, and the index has moved into a range indicating healthy economic growth ahead, as an index higher than 50.0 indicates an expansionary economy over the course of the next three to six months, Goss wrote.
“This is the 15th straight month that the overall index has moved above growth neutral,” and for the second month it tracked weakness among non-durable goods producers, including food processors in the four-county area, the index continues.
Still, gains among durable goods manufacturers more than offset this weakness, while construction and wholesale trade activity in the Valley continues to expand at a healthy pace.
In other matters, the index reports:
– Over the past 12 months, the region experienced strong job growth at 1.9 percent, significantly outpacing the national gain of 1.4 percent.
– Inflationary pressures at both the consumer and wholesale level likely will rise in the months ahead, but remain modest.
– Survey participants estimated that anticipated wage increase at their businesses in 2018 will average 2.2 percent.
– The impending federal tax reform package has supported business confidence in the Valley, with 69.2 percent of survey participants indicating they supported the plan sent to the U.S. Senate – before the revised, final version was sent to the president. Roughly 7.7 percent opposed the current bill, while the remaining 23.1 percent expressed no opinion.
Read the report online at gossandassociates.com.