Inland Empire Business Activity Maintains Upward Climb; Future Growth Constrained By Lack of Workers

Latest Inland Empire Business Activity Index released by the UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development shows business activity in region maintaining steady growth trajectory

Labor remains a major issue for the Inland Empire’s economy.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — Business activity in the Inland Empire grew again in the 3rd quarter, building on growth from the first half of the year, according to the newly released Inland Empire Business Activity Index. The analysis is forecasting sustained growth in the 4th quarter, which would make 2017 the sixth consecutive year of uninterrupted expansion in the region’s business activity.

While the outlook for the Inland Empire economy remains positive, a lack of available workers combined with a limited supply of housing will have a negative effect on the local economy’s ability to grow.

“Absent some surge in productivity, the region’s overall economic output will be constrained by an inability to hire both the number and types of workers needed,” said Robert Kleinhenz, executive director of research at the Center for Economic Forecasting and one of the index authors. “Our coastal neighbors are already feeling a sharper and more profound slowdown. And we’re starting to see labor shortage effects in the Inland Empire, as key measures of the economy are unable to expand at the speed of a few years ago.”

According to the analysis, in the 4th quarter of 2017, business activity for the Inland Empire is projected to expand in the 2 to 2.5 percent range. This quarter, business activity has increased at a 2.8 percent annualized rate.

The current Inland Empire Business Activity Index is available here. The Index tracks performance of the Inland Empire regional economy on a quarterly basis and is adjusted for seasonal variations. The composite indicator is estimated using a wide range of economic data including employment, economic output, income, real estate, and other indicators at the national, state, and metropolitan level. The Index is produced entirely by the UC Riverside School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development.

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