The recently released “Inland Empire Business Activity Index” reflected a positive growth trajectory for the first quarter of 2018, and the trend is expected to expand further throughout the rest of the year.
The report found the region’s business activity expanded by 2.2 percent in the first quarter, which was on par with U.S. GDP, which grew by 2.3 percent. However, when you look beyond the first quarter and include the entire year (first quarter of 2017 through the first quarter of 2018), the inland region significantly outperformed the nation—business activity in the Inland Empire grew by 3.8 percent compared to U.S. GDP growth for the same period of only 2.9 percent.
Commenting on these results, Robert Kleinhenz, Executive Director of Research at the Center for Economic Forecasting and one of the index authors said, “The Inland Empire’s economy is enjoying the same strong growth trends as the nation as a whole, but at an even more vigorous level – a circumstance that is being largely fueled by robust local job and population growth.”
Kleinhenz continued, “The Inland Empire is the fastest growing job market in all of Southern California, a trend that should continue over the foreseeable future as more households choose to settle in the region over the more expensive coastal counties in Southern California.”
Also, according to the report, the positive growth was spread across all local industries both large and small, and impacted every sector. Business activity is projected to continue its expansion at a rate between 2.5 percent and 3.5 percent in 2018. The positive growth will eventually be tempered by labor shortages in the area that will eventually result from the state’s high cost of living.