Jacksonville’s economy is showing signs of contraction, according to a monthly survey of manufacturers by the University of North Florida’s Local Economic Indicators Project.
The survey’s main Purchasing Managers Index stood at 44.2 in June, unchanged from May.
But 10 of the 12 indicators in the Jacksonville Economic Monitoring Survey were down in June, including the business activity outlook.
“This reveals that manufacturers and businesses in the area lack confidence in the future economic conditions and are likely concerned about demand and market stability,” university economist Albert Loh said in his report on the JEMS survey.
“Given that respondents have described the current marketplace as ‘close to a recession’ and ‘demand is good but falling,’ it is evident that there is anxiety about economic conditions deteriorating,” he said.
“For Jacksonville’s economy, this lack of confidence among businesses can have several implications. Companies might be less likely to invest in new projects or expand operations if they are uncertain about the future. This can lead to a slowdown in economic activity.”
One of the two indicators pointing up was employment.
“This can be due to the loosening of the labor market that allows local manufacturers to finally fill vacant positions,” Loh said.
The other positive indicator was suppliers’ delivery times.
“For the local economy, this could imply a potential stabilization in supply chain operations, but it likely also indicates a decrease in demand, leading to suppliers being able to fulfill orders more quickly,” he said.
Loh said the survey results show Jacksonville is facing economic challenges in the months ahead.
“Businesses and policymakers should remain vigilant and responsive to the prevailing economic uncertainties, especially considering the pessimism reflected in the business activity outlook index. Providing support to industries and ensuring policies stimulate economic activity could be crucial in navigating the contractionary phase,” he said.
Loh began the survey in March and wants to increase the number of manufacturing companies in the Jacksonville area participating in the monthly poll.
A news release from UNF’s Coggin College of Business said the survey takes less than 20 minutes to complete and provides important data to understand the state of the Jacksonville area economy.
Businesses interested in participating can contact Loh at [email protected].