- Cal State University Fullerton’s Business Expectation Indicator (OCBX) made large gains in the second quarter of 2012 before falling to more conservative levels for the second half of 2012. The index currently sits at 84.4 in Q4 2016 – a slight 5.0 index point increase since the previous quarter and 0.6 points above the Q4 2015 reading of 83.8. While below recent peaks, this represents 34.4 points above the 50-point indicator of expansion, signifying that Orange County businesses executives are moving through 2016 on a slightly positive note.
- California’s Consumer Sentiment Composite Index registered a large jump recently, reversing previous downward trends. The Q1 2017 index indicating consumer confidence in the state economy is 111.4, a massive increase compared to a year ago, and an increase of 5.9 points compared to the previous quarter’s revised reading of 105.5. Despite a dip in 2016, the consumer sentiment reading has recovered dramatically with the past three readings registering scores consistently above 100, indicating a continued sense of optimism for Orange County businesses. Optimism on current conditions registered another massive jump during Q1 2016, increasing from a revised reading of 112.3 in Q4 2016 to its current reading of 124.4. Consumer sentiment on future conditions, meanwhile, registered a smaller increase compared to the previous quarter, growing from its revised reading of 96.4 in Q4 2016 to its current reading of 101.8.
- In January 2017, total passengers going through John Wayne Airport decreased by 77,182 compared to December 2016 yet increased by 9,526 compared to January 2016, reaching 793,774 total passengers in January 2017. Total air cargo tons shipped increased by 518 tons compared to December 2016 reaching 2,012 tons in January 2017 and total airplane operations (take-offs and landings) decreased by 1,150 compared to December 2016 reaching 20,116 in January 2017 representing a decrease of 1,854 compared to the year before.
- Orange County car and truck sales increased in January 2017 with registrations totaling 8,847 cars and 8,415 trucks – a month-over-month increase of 863 cars and 1,077 trucks since December 2016.
- In February 2017, the Port of Los Angeles recorded a total 625,381 containers – a decrease of 201,259 containers compared to January 2017 and a decrease of 88,340 containers compared to the February 2016. The Port of Long Beach estimated 498,311 containers used in February 2017, a decrease of 84,378 compared to January 2017’s activity levels and a decrease of 63,101 compared to February 2016.
- The vitality of Orange County’s manufacturing industry is monitored by Chapman University’s manufacturing composite index, measuring growth in the industry sector by monitoring changes in employment, production, commodity prices, and new orders. Orange County’s composite index stagnated somewhat going into Q4 2016 growing to 57.0 compared to 56.5 in Q3 2016 and 56.4 in Q4 2015. The state-level composite index experienced an increase in Q4 2016, hitting 59.7 compared to 59.3 in Q3 2016.
- Approximately 144 Orange County businesses were sold in February 2017, 8 more businesses than the previous month and 21 more compared to February 2016. Los Angeles saw a total of 387 businesses sold in February 2017 compared to 443 businesses sold in January 2017, a decrease of 56 businesses over the past month yet an increase of 22 businesses when compared to February 2016.
- February 2017 saw 390 bankruptcy filings, a total of 78 cases less than the previous February and 4 less than in January 2017. While bankruptcy filings saw a dramatic decrease since starting in mid-2012, this rate of decrease seems to have stabilized with the number of Orange County bankruptcies averaging 545 per month since January 2014 and averaging 500 since January 2015.
- Orange County office vacancy rates decreased during Q4 2016, falling from a revised 10.18 percent in Q3 2016 to 11.20 percent in Q4 2016. At the same time, Orange County's industrial vacancy rates experienced a decrease to a Q4 2016 rate 2.00 percent from a revised Q3 2016 rate of 2.30 percent. Net absorption in office space for 2016 YTD was recorded at 976,150 square feet compared to 1,473,883 as of Q4 2015. Industrial absorption registered similar rates with 2,000,000 square feet being absorbed for YTD Q4 2016 compared to 2,400,000 square feet being absorbed for YTD Q4 2015.
- As the both the residential and commercial real estate markets continue to recover, Orange County continues to see gradual increases in asking rental rates at both office and industrial properties. Office asking rents in Orange County have increased by $.019 per square foot compared to last year to a lease rate of $2.34, while industrial rent rates also increased slightly, reaching $0.93 per square foot for Q4 2016, representing a $0.13 increase over the last year.