Area Economy

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

ARTICLES

Residential construction job growth remains tepid

May 19, 2017
National construction employment remained largely unchanged for the second consecutive month, adding 5,000 net new jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis in April, according to analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Read More

Local economy remains strong, but red flags are on horizon

May 12, 2017
Good news is always welcome, and according to the latest survey conducted during the last two weeks of April, the West Michigan economy is surprisingly strong. Read More

Nonresidential investment surges despite sluggish Q1

May 5, 2017
The U.S. economy’s performance slowed in the first quarter of 2017, but nonresidential fixed investment expanded at an impressive 9.4 percent seasonally adjusted annual rate, according to analysis of U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis data. Read More

Michigan retailers boost springs sales forecasts

April 28, 2017
Michigan retailers’ spring sales forecasts grew even stronger after their March sales rose, according to the Michigan Retail Index, a joint project of Michigan Retailers Association and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Read More

Construction prices moderate as energy costs slip

April 21, 2017
Construction input prices rose for the fourth consecutive month in March, increasing by 0.3 percent on a monthly basis and 4.4 percent on a yearly basis, according to analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data by Associated Builders and Contractors. Read More

West Michigan economy shows no sign of backing down

April 14, 2017
Despite the signs several of our local industries are topping out, West Michigan business conditions remain positive. Read More

Contractors expect a few dips, but remain confident of growth

April 7, 2017
Expectations for 2017 have become less optimistic, but the majority of industrial and commercial construction contractors still expect growth this year, according to the latest Construction Confidence Index from Associated Builders and Contractors. Read More

Majority of retailers expect spring sales increases

March 31, 2017
More than three of every four Michigan retailers (76 percent) expect to increase their spring sales 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

Construction prices continue upward trajectory

March 24, 2017
Construction input prices expanded 0.3 percent on a monthly basis and 4.8 percent on a year-over-year basis in February, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Read More

Construction employment surges to best month in 10 years

March 17, 2017
National construction employment surged in February, as the industry added 58,000 seasonally adjusted net new jobs, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Read More