Area Economy

A look at local, regional, national and international trends.


Construction hiring outpaces national numbers

December 9, 2016
The U.S. construction industry added 19,000 net new jobs in November and has added jobs for three consecutive months, according to an analysis of the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released at the beginning of December. Read More

Holiday shopping kicks into high gear with $20B target

December 2, 2016
Holiday shoppers in Michigan this Thanksgiving weekend quickly got into the thick of what retailers expect to be a positive holiday season. Read More

Inflation and interest rate environment changing

November 25, 2016
Construction input prices remained unchanged in October and are just 0.5 percent above where they were a year ago, according to analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Producer Price Index released recently. Read More

West Michigan is back to a flat economy this month

November 18, 2016
After last month’s 16-month high, the West Michigan industrial economy has again returned to a growth pattern that is almost flat. Read More

Initiative strives to ensure high-speed internet access

November 11, 2016
The Right Place, and other economic development colleagues in West Michigan are partnering with Connect Michigan and its “Connected Community” program to complete broadband connectivity and quality assessments for each of the 13 counties in the region. Read More

Retailers predict positive holiday season

November 4, 2016
Michigan retailers are forecasting a positive holiday season, with their sales rising by an average of 2.1 percent over last year, according to the Michigan Retail Index, a joint project of Michigan Retailers Association and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Read More

Wage growth fuels construction employment numbers rebound

October 28, 2016
The construction industry rebounded in a meaningful way in September by gaining 23,000 net new jobs on a monthly basis after losing 5,000 net jobs in August, according to an analysis of the most recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Read More

Construction input prices begin to trend higher

October 21, 2016
Both nonresidential and overall construction input prices increased in September, with natural gas and crude petroleum prices bouncing back, according to an analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Producer Price Index. Read More

New orders reach a 16-month high as business improves

October 14, 2016
As we move into the fourth quarter of 2016, the West Michigan industrial economy continues to expand. Read More

Public sector construction spending declines faster than private

October 7, 2016
Nonresidential construction spending fell for a second consecutive month in August, according to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau figures. Read More