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Oct 21, 2018
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Business confidence could shrink, Fresno State research professor says

A Fresno State research professor predicts business confidence in the San Joaquin Valley will shrink “in the months ahead” due to rising tariffs and trade restrictions.

The prediction by Dr. Ernie Goss, of the Craig School of Business, was included in a Thursday news release from Fresno State announcing the state of the Valley’s Business Conditions Index, an economic indicator that draws from surveys of business individuals from four counties in the Central San Joaquin Valley.

Despite the gloomy outlook, Goss said Valley manufacturing has surged and showed solid gains in August and that construction activity in the Valley had expanded at a healthy pace. Goss expects the growth in construction to continue.

But in terms of Valley employment, Goss said it, like business confidence, could slow in the upcoming months after a strong job growth in the region of 2.7 percent over the past year, above the nation’s 1.6 percent expansion over the same period of time.

Survey participants reported that rising tariffs and trade restrictions had negative impacts on sales and purchases from abroad. Though, some of those surveyed in August for the index report support leaving the tariffs on China intact.

Goss also assessed that high inflation and trade restrictions are concerning points in the current economy.

Still, writing in his financial blog, Goss said President Donald Trump’s overall influence on the economy is reflected by a 4.1 percent economic growth in his nearly two years in office compared with former President Barack Obama’s 2.2 percent economic growth in his last year and a half in office.

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