Area Economy

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


Specialty trade contractors lead employment surge

November 27, 2015
The U.S. construction industry added more jobs in October than during the previous four months combined, according to an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics. Read More

Stronger dollar, weaker global economy impact input prices

November 20, 2015
The Producer Price Index for inputs to construction industries declined for a fourth consecutive month in October, according to an analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistics data released this month. Read More

West Michigan economy remains slightly ahead of national numbers

November 13, 2015
Slow growth is still the best way to describe the West Michigan economy, according to data and comments collected in the last two weeks of October. Read More

Michigan’s exporters take a significant hit to close summer

November 6, 2015
According to the latest numbers on international trade flows released by the World Trade Organization, in the first eight months of 2015 the value of world merchandise exports dropped 11 percent to $10.1 trillion from $11.3 trillion during the same period in 2014. Read More

State retailers project robust holiday shopping season

October 30, 2015
LANSING — In its most positive forecast since 2012, Michigan’s retail industry sees a stronger holiday shopping season ahead. Read More

Construction materials prices plunge in September

October 23, 2015
Prices for inputs to construction industries plunged 1.6 percent in September after shedding 0.9 percent in August, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. Read More

Automotive, furniture industries carry West Michigan economy

October 16, 2015
Growing, but still slowing. That’s the latest word on the West Michigan economy, according to the data and comments collected in the last two weeks of September. Read More

Growth spurt masks annual decline for state’s exporters

October 9, 2015
Growth in global trade continued to be sluggish in July, according to statistics compiled by the World Trade Organization. Read More

Nonresidential construction dip no cause for concern

October 2, 2015
Nonresidential construction employment fell by 700 jobs in August after losing 5,600 jobs in July and 800 jobs in June. Read More

Despite significant slide, fall retail forecasts remain strong

September 25, 2015
Michigan retailers’ sales forecasts remain strong for fall despite a drop in August sales, according to the latest Michigan Retail Index, a joint project of Michigan Retailers Association and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Read More