Survey: Valley economy expected to continue to expand

The overall business conditions index for the Valley improved for the third straight month in April.The overall business conditions index for the Valley improved for the third straight month in April.The overall San Joaquin Valley Business Conditions Index for April came in at 52.1, marking the third straight month the index increased, as reported on Tuesday by the Craig School of Business at Fresno State. 

In March the overall index registered a 51.8. The report comes from a survey of San Joaquin Valley business leaders. The index is not a percentage and any score over 50 indicates when the surveyed participants anticipate the economy to expand over the next three to six months.

“We are tracking a slowly improving economy,” said Ernie Goss, the research associate heading the survey, in a release. “As in the past several months, companies linked to agriculture and international markets are experiencing upturns in overall economic activity.”

The employment index was also on the rise, as it climbed to 55.9 from a 54.6 index in March.

“We are tracking a job market that is improving, especially for durable goods producers linked to international markets and to food producers,” said Goss.

Business confidence improved to 51.9, from 50.2 in March and 47.3 in February.

Inventories, while at a low index of 46.2, appears to be diminishing at a lower rate than March’s 45.1.

Wholesale prices are still high at 62.0, but the index is lower than it was in March, when it was 65.6.