Area Economy

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


Nonresidential construction spending slips once again

February 5, 2016
Nonresidential construction spending dipped for a second consecutive month, falling 0.4 percent on a monthly basis in December, according to analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. Read More

Warm weather helped cool retailers’ holiday sales

January 29, 2016
Heat Miser appeared to get the upper hand, as unseasonably warm weather helped push Michigan retailers’ holiday sales below forecasts. Read More

Construction materials prices continue free fall

January 22, 2016
Construction material prices fell for the sixth consecutive month in December, losing 1.2 percent on a monthly basis and 4 percent on a yearly basis, according to an analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Producer Price Index. Read More

Michigan’s exports increased while world’s declined

January 15, 2016
According to the latest numbers on international trade released by the World Trade Organization, in the first 10 months of 2015 the value of world merchandise exports plunged $1.6 trillion, or 11.2 percent, to $12.7 trillion from the same period in 2014. Read More

Year-end reports show mixed signals for 2016 economy

January 8, 2016
Flat or slightly negative. Read More

Construction employment continues year-end surge

January 1, 2016
Construction employment expanded by 46,000 net new jobs in November after adding 34,000 jobs in October (revised upward by 3,000), according to an analysis of the recent employment report from the U.S. Department of Labor. Read More

Expect continued growth for construction in 2016

December 25, 2015
Associated Builders and Contractors is forecasting a continued steady economic recovery for the U.S. commercial and industrial construction industries in 2016. Read More

Growth in region’s industrial economy slows to a crawl

December 18, 2015
Slow growth is still the best description of the West Michigan economy, according to the data and comments collected in the last two weeks of November. Read More

Economic problems don’t always have economic solutions

December 11, 2015
In a recent New York Times article, Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics Paul Krugman stated that “darkness is spreading over our society as evidenced in increased mortality rates resulting from suicide and excessive drinking, particularly among middle-aged white Americans.” Read More