Area Economy

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

ARTICLES

Retailers’ sales and forecasts remain positive for spring

April 22, 2016
Michigan retailers’ sales and forecasts remained positive in March while slipping only slightly from the previous month, according to the latest Michigan Retail Index survey, a joint project of Michigan Retailers Association and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Read More

Nonresidential spending dip is no cause for alarm

April 15, 2016
Nonresidential construction spending dipped in February, falling 1.4 percent on a monthly basis according to analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by Associated Builders and Contractors. Read More

Short-term confidence index is gaining momentum

April 8, 2016
After seeing the reports for the West Michigan industrial economy soften at the end of 2015, it is gratifying to report the local economy is again gaining strength. Read More

Construction employment recovery is slow but steady

April 1, 2016
The U.S. construction industry added 19,000 net new jobs in February according to an analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly report. Read More

Surprising February has retailers feeling more optimistic

March 25, 2016
LANSING — Michigan retailers boosted their three-month sales forecasts after posting improved sales in February, according to the latest Michigan Retail Index survey, a joint project of Michigan Retailers Association and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Read More

Eight is enough: Construction prices fall again

March 18, 2016
Construction input prices fell for the eighth consecutive month during February, according to an analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Producer Price Index. Read More

Local economy has enough momentum for the short term

March 11, 2016
December is often a month of slower sales and reduced production, but it took until February for West Michigan to return to the slow growth we have reported for most of the past seven years. Read More

Nonresidential spending regains momentum to start year

March 4, 2016
Nonresidential construction spending crested the $700 billion mark on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis in January for the first time since March 2009, according to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. Read More

Retailers project modest sales growth for rest of this year

February 26, 2016
Despite a slow start in January, Michigan retailers are forecasting sales growth averaging 2 percent in 2016, according to the latest Michigan Retail Index survey, a joint project of Michigan Retailers Association and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Read More

Construction materials prices continue downward trend

February 19, 2016
Construction input prices fell by 0.6 percent during January, according to an analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Producer Price Index by the Associated Builders and Contractors. Read More