NOV. 28, 2000

CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456, mstepanovich@csub.edu


Kern economic indicators rebound strongly

Kern County's economic indicators rebounded in the third quarter, according to the latest issue of Kern Economic Journal, published by the Center for Economic Education and Research at California State University, Bakersfield.

The Business Outlook Index had slipped for the first two quarters of 2000, but rebounded strongly in the third quarter to 129.4, approaching the 130-plus level last seen in the fourth quarter 1999.

"Overall, business managers are very optimistic about the local business outlook," said CSUB economics professor Abbas Grammy, who conducts the Business Outlook Survey.

Likewise, the Bakersfield Consumer Sentiment Index, prepared by CSUB economics professor Mark Evans, bounced back strongly in the third quarter, increasing from 111 to 125. Evans attributed the increase to local perceptions that residents' financial situation was improving. The survey showed that most county residents were spending more than usual or about the same on discretionary items such as dining out, weekend outings and entertainment.

Index values over 100 indicate consumer optimism, while those below 100 indicated consumer pessimism.

The Kern Economic Journal is a quarterly publication focusing on local economic trends and developments. Grammy, chairman of CSUB's economics department, is the journal's editor. Evans directs the Center for Economic Education and Research. Jeff Johnson, director of the Weill Institute Small Business Development Center, also serves on the journal's editorial board.

The journal provides the community with economic information produced by the center. It is in its second year of quarterly publications. Grammy said, "What we provide is local economic news. This helps local business people make better decisions. We study local economic trends to determine how the local economy is progressing."

Other articles in the latest issue include a look at the economic impact of child care in Kern County, issues affecting welfare of children in Kern County, the educational aspirations of Kern County's youth, and the economic and population growth in Kern County.

It also includes a look at the economics of prison location in Kern County, strategies for commercialization of technology in Kern County, and strategies for economic diversity in the San Joaquin Valley.

A subscription to the Kern Economic Journal costs $40 per year. For a free initial copy or more information about any of the studies published in the journal, please call the Center for Economic Education and Research at 661/664-2460. You can also visit the journal's website at www.csub.edu/kej.