[caption id="attachment_90750" align="alignleft" width="300"] Sonoma County businesses have been more active economically than the national average since late 2010. (credit: Sonoma County Economic Development Board)[/caption]
Sonoma County businesses are outperforming the United States as a whole in expenditures for growth and customer demand, supporting an overall upward trend for commercial-sector confidence, according to a new report.
Sonoma County's purchasing trends index was 68.65 -- a number above 50 indicates growth -- beating a national average of 53.2, according to the winter Business Confidence Survey and Report released Monday by the Economic Development Board. It marks the third year that Sonoma County has beat the national average since 2007.
The index includes new customer orders, production, employment, supplier deliveries and inventories, measured as part of a quarterly survey by the board since 2005.
Retail and wholesale distribution, one of eight industry classifications in the data, had the highest index value -- 81.21. Agriculture had the second-highest at 80, followed by manufacturing at 78.41.
Almost every industry received scores above 70 for new customer orders and production, supporting the notion that consumer spending is a primary driver in Sonoma County's economic performance, according to the report.
Methodology is modeled after the national purchasing managers index from the Institute for Supply Management. The EDB received 95 surveys out of 241 circulated to business leaders for its winter 2014 report, a response rate of nearly 40 percent.Overall confidence above pre-recession levels
[caption id="attachment_90749" align="alignnone" width="500"] Technology was the only major Sonoma County industry indicating reticence to hire in the winter survey, and all but health services are increasing production. (credit: Sonoma County Economic Development Board)[/caption]