Area Economy

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


State’s exports slip amid growing worldwide turmoil

December 19, 2014
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a Paris-based think tank, presented its latest economic projections for the global economy early last month, which formed the analysis and outlook for the G20 Leaders’ Summit Nov. 15-16 in Brisbane, Australia. Read More

Median household income is best in six years

December 12, 2014
Economic growth in West Michigan eased to a slower pace in November, according to data collected during the last two weeks of the month. Read More

The green flag is out for the holiday shopping season

December 5, 2014
LANSING — Conditions are good for the official start of the holiday shopping season (regardless of whether it began on Thanksgiving or the day after): brisk weather, lower gasoline prices, reduced unemployment and optimistic retailers offering big bargains. Read More

Construction backlog indicator reaches another all-time high

November 28, 2014
Associated Builders and Contractors Construction Backlog Indicator reached a new all-time high during the third quarter of 2014 at 8.8 months, eclipsing the previous all-time high of 8.5 months in the second quarter of 2014. Read More

Industrial inflation continues to improve for West Michigan

November 21, 2014
The strength of September has continued into October. Read More

Performance reviews: power tool or pain in the neck?

November 14, 2014
Now that we are close to the end of the year, people are thinking about budgets, bonuses and benefits elections. There is also the issue of assessing the performance of the organization. Read More

Retailers’ holiday sales forecasts blend optimism, caution

November 7, 2014
LANSING — While Michigan retailers expect better holiday sales this year, their forecasts are a blend of optimism and caution, according to the Michigan Retail Index, a joint project of the Michigan Retailers Association and Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Read More

State’s export plunge wipes out earlier gains

October 31, 2014
In the first eight months of 2014, the value of world merchandise exports rose 2.6 percent to $11.3 trillion dollars from the same period in 2013, according to the latest numbers released by the World Trade Organization. Read More

Materials prices dip slightly, but still up over last year

October 24, 2014
Construction materials prices inched down 0.1 percent in September, but rose 1.6 percent compared to the same time last year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Producer Price Index released earlier this month. Read More

Local economy is on faster track than national numbers

October 17, 2014
September is always a back-to-work month, and this year is no exception. Read More