As business survey chairman Mike Valant notes, though, the biggest contributor to the March numbers is hardly a cause for celebration.
“Fifty-five percent of the participants were showing price increases, which is definite inflation.”
Rising oil prices account for some of the price hikes. Another major factor: earthquake-related disruptions to the supply of Japanese electronics components.
“Several of the areas that lost their factories and cannot produce parts — I’ve had a couple that are down completely, a couple that are 50%, hopefully to get up to 80%, and then they turn around and floating power outages, government shutdowns and transportation [shutdowns] are keeping their workers away.”
On the plus side, the survey shows local employment is continuing to improve, with 93% of respondents reporting employment levels as either the same or increasing.