A monthly survey of Jacksonville manufacturers by the University of North Florida’s Local Economic Indicators Project showed contraction in the local economy, but also brought some positive signals.
Meanwhile, a new quarterly survey by Jacksonville-based Dun & Bradstreet found optimism for growth in the global economy.
UNF’s Jacksonville Economic Monitoring Survey of Northeast Florida manufacturing companies found eight of 12 indicators contracting in August, and its overall Purchasing Managers’ Index fell from 49.3 in July to 47 last month.
“However, despite the overall contractionary environment, there are bright spots that may point toward a more optimistic future for Jacksonville’s economy,” UNF economist Albert Loh said in the monthly report.
“For example, the 12-month business outlook for the area is improving, and both employment and output are in expansionary territory,” he said.
The JEMS survey found output by manufacturers rose in August for the first time since March.
“Such an uptick can have a multiplicative effect on the regional economy, likely boosting employment, consumer spending, and overall business confidence,” Loh said.
Although a majority of the indicators were still contracting in August, the business outlook indicator jumped higher.
“It suggests that businesses are more confident about the state of the market, possibly expecting increased demand, reduced costs, or other favorable conditions. Such an outlook can encourage companies to invest more in production, technology, and human resources, which can be a boon for the local economy,” Loh said.
The national PMI from Institute for Supply Management rose from 46.4 in July to 47.6 in August, but any number below 50 indicates contraction.
“Jacksonville’s ability to maintain a stable yet cautiously optimistic business environment, even as the national index shows mild contraction, speaks to its resilience,” Loh said.
Dun & Bradstreet survey
The Dun & Bradstreet Global Business Optimism Insights survey is an amalgamation of five indices, the company said.
Its third-quarter report found while the world economy is expected to grow, the growth is projected to be slower due to a decline in advanced economies, contrasting growth in emerging economies.
Dun & Bradstreet said Nordic businesses are the most pessimistic about supply chain issues, followed by U.S. businesses.
Russian companies had the biggest improvement in business investment confidence, but the index for Russia remained the lowest among the 32 economies surveyed.
“While the unprecedented monetary tightening has helped control inflation in some countries, it has also introduced the specter of an economic slowdown and stress in the balance sheets of businesses,” Dun & Bradstreet Global Chief Economist Arun Singh said in a news release.
“However, the global economy has not fared as badly as feared, as most businesses anticipate a 2% to 6% growth in their investment levels across technology, real estate, product development, and sustainability initiatives, offering hope for improvement in economic conditions,” he said.