Inland Empire Economic Forecast: Strong Through 2022

IE business activity still going strong; region’s performance starkly contrasts economic slump at national level
By Victoria Pike Bond |

Business activity in the Inland Empire has continued to grow, and in the context of today’s increasingly uncertain economic environment, stands in stark contrast to growth trends in the nation.

In the first quarter of 2022 (the latest data available), business activity in the Inland Empire expanded by 4.7% compared to 6.4% in the fourth quarter of 2021. Although regional growth has slowed somewhat, it unambiguously outperformed U.S. GDP, which declined by 1.5% in the first quarter. Over this year, the Inland Empire’s business activity is forecast to rise between 2.5% and 3.5%.

“Despite greater instability in the macroeconomy today, there are still very few, if any, signs of weakness in the Inland Empire’s economic activity,” said Taner Osman, Research Manager at the UCR Center for Economic Forecasting and one of the Index authors. “Employment has continued to expand and the workforce in the region is now larger than it was before the pandemic, something that is not true for the state as a whole.”

Osman cautions, however, that while momentum still exists, the Inland Empire will eventually share in the effects of the broader economic contraction, but not likely in 2022.

View the new Inland Empire Business Activity Index.