Area Economy

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


Is today’s industrial economy as good as it gets?

November 17, 2017
For the past couple of years, growth in the West Michigan economy has been a little sluggish in the fall. Read More

Lack of construction employees prompts frustration, alarm

November 10, 2017
An analysis of data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the nation’s construction sector added 11,000 net new jobs in October, matching the revised total from September. Read More

Two-thirds of retailers expect to close strong

November 3, 2017
Michigan retailers are looking forward to a robust holiday shopping season, according to the Michigan Retail Index, a joint project of Michigan Retailers Association and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Read More

Construction materials prices rising faster than inflation

October 27, 2017
Construction input prices rose yet again in September, according to an analysis of data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Read More

Local economy inches ahead while national picture is mixed

October 20, 2017
The West Michigan economy still is going strong. Read More

Nonresidential construction adds jobs despite disruptions

October 13, 2017
In the final analysis, U.S. construction industry leaders would be wise not to base key economic decisions on September employment data. Read More

State’s retail sales get a late summer boost

October 6, 2017
Michigan retailers reported a slight uptick in sales activity for August over a month ago. Read More

In the construction sector, G.R. = Growing Rapidly

September 29, 2017
Prospects remain bright for both the overall economy and for construction locally. Read More

Monthly construction input price growth accelerates

September 22, 2017
Construction input prices rose 0.6 percent in August and are up 3.7 percent on a yearly basis. Read More

Most industries maintain moderate growth rate

September 15, 2017
After a summer lull, the West Michigan economy resumed the growth pattern observed for the past eight years. Read More