Area Economy

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


‘Human capital’: The critical issue is who has the power

April 24, 2015
I was recently sent an article from The New York Times that discussed “human capital” and whether this was the proper term to describe employees and the implications for society. Read More

Monthly materials prices on the upswing, but still down overall

April 17, 2015
Prices for inputs to construction industries expanded 0.8 percent in March, the largest monthly increase in more than two years, according to the April 14 producer price index release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Read More

West Michigan economy enjoys unexpected surge

April 10, 2015
The growth rate improves! That’s the latest word on the West Michigan economy, according to data collected in the last two weeks of March. Read More

European slowdown catches up with Michigan exporters

April 3, 2015
The economic stagnation in Europe and the slowdown in emerging economies have become a drag on worldwide trade. Read More

Construction has varying impact on state economies

March 27, 2015
State economies are affected differently depending on the level of construction activity relative to their overall economic activity. Read More

Construction materials prices rise for first time in six months

March 20, 2015
The largest monthly gain in petroleum prices in more than three years caused construction materials prices to expand 0.4 percent in February, ending a six-month streak when prices failed to rise, according to the March 13 producer price index report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Read More

Notes of caution seeping into the economic forecast

March 13, 2015
The West Michigan economy continues on a path of modest growth, although there is a hint of caution in the air. Read More

Michigan companies experience a rebound in exports

March 6, 2015
According to the latest international trade numbers, worldwide merchandise exports edged down in December for the third month in a row to $1.4 trillion, adjusted for seasonal variation, a statistical process that smoothes out volatility in the monthly indicators for factors such as the number of days in a month and holidays. Read More

Attracting young talent is a state economic development priority

February 27, 2015
Conventional wisdom is that people follow jobs. Read More

Bring in people with updated skills to drive new business

February 20, 2015
Recent government statistics show a strong trend in employee hiring. Read More