State economy sliding national dip ebbing

August 9, 2009
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Detroit Renaissance and the Michigan Business Leadership Council completed the first-ever survey of 60 of Michigan’s most prominent CEOs to ascertain their projections for Michigan’s and the U.S. economy. The CEOs represent a cross-section of industries across Michigan and are in a unique position to assess the direction of the economy.

The survey indicates that Michigan will continue to lag the nation’s economic performance as the CEOs project the national economy will hit bottom and begin to improve in the next six months, while Michigan’s economy will continue to get worse. Specifically, 68 percent think Michigan’s economy will get worse over the next six months, while 80 percent think the U.S. economy will be the same or get better.

More troublesome is the CEOs long-term outlook for Michigan. Eighty percent think Michigan’s economy will be the same or continuing to get worse 18 months from now, while 78 percent think the U.S. economy will be in recovery. This projection follows the CEOs forecast of lower capital investment and employment over the next six months.

The survey should be a valuable tool for policymakers because it gives them a real-time snapshot of business trends and forecasts. The results show two things: First, Michigan cannot expect to grow out of its fiscal crisis anytime soon so it must make structural budget reforms; and second, major changes are needed to stimulate economic growth in this state.

Detroit Renaissance provides leadership to accelerate the economic transformation of Detroit and Southeast Michigan. Renaissance accomplishes this work through serving as a catalyst to develop growth strategies, advocating for those strategies and championing specific initiatives that accelerate growth. For more information, visit www.detroitrenaissance.com

The Michigan Business Leadership Council is a group of the state’s most prominent corporate executives that meets several times throughout the year to discuss ways to make Michigan a significantly more competitive place to do business and grow the economy. For more information, visit www.michiganbusinessleadershipcouncil.com

Doug Rothwell is president of Detroit Renaissance and the Michigan Business Leadership Council.

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