Report: Inland Empire business activity slides steeply amid lockdowns, cautiously optimistic about recovery

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RIVERSIDE (CNS) - With coronavirus-related public health lockdowns keeping businesses closed and forcing changes in consumer behavior, the Inland Empire's business activity plunged 26.5% in the second quarter of the year, according to a report released today by the UC Riverside Center for Economic Forecasting. ``The second quarter's dismal numbers are largely the result of rigid health-mandated closures and restrictions,'' according to a statement released by the center, which posts its Inland Empire Business Activity Index on a quarterly basis. The 26.5% downward spiral is an annual comparison, based on commercial trade and spending from the same period in 2019. ``Certain industries are being affected ... far more severely than others,'' UCR Center for Economic Forecasting Director of
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