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Riverside, San Bernardino County Economy Rebounds

Economic forecast says things in Inland Empire are good and getting better.

It’s too soon to celebrate, but San Bernardino and Riverside county residents can embrace the hope that the area is in the economic recovery that “is broad-based across cities and industries, according to a recently released economic forecast.”

The forecast was authored by Beacon Economics and released in partnership with the University of California, Riverside’s School of Business Administration as part of the 2012 Riverside/San Bernardino Economic Forecast Conference.

“It will be several years before the region sees a return to peak employment levels, but employment is a lagging indicator, and the leading indicators show signs of continued growth,” according to the report.

The report's key findings include:

  • The economic recovery in Inland Southern California has been slow out of the gate, but the recovery is moving in the right direction and the region has made significant progress.
  • The Riverside-San Bernardino metropolitan area has added 30,800 new jobs to its employment base since hitting bottom at the end of 2009, which is a slower rate of growth than seen in the state overall, but represents a recovery nonetheless.
  • The second quarter of 2012 marked the 12th consecutive quarter of rising taxable sales in Inland Southern California.
  • The region's hotels and restaurants are starting to thrive again, and sales tax receipts at restaurants and hotels across Riverside-San Bernardino are up by nearly 9 percent on a year-to-date basis—the third-fastest rate of growth by spending category.
  • Inland areas are pulling ahead of the pack in home prices and new residential and nonresidential construction. Rising employment, affordability and low interest rates are all helping to increase activity in the local economy, with 2013 expected to be better yet.

The Inland Empire was hard hit by the recession and saw climbing unemployment for several years, according to several news reports. That has changed according to the economic forecast. Private sector growth in the area has risen, but it does not show in the overall employment numbers due to contractions in the public sector, as more than 1,000 government jobs have been lost in the year-to-date data, according to the report.

To read the entire report included with this article. You can find it in the photo section.

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