Area Economy

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

ARTICLES

The American Dream — possible for everyone?

April 18, 2014
A number of topics have come together to help shape this article. Maybe the best place to start is by setting the stage about the concept of the American Dream. Read More

Index for long-term outlook is reason for optimism

April 11, 2014
Growth accelerates. That’s the latest word on the West Michigan economy, according to data collected during the last two weeks of March. Read More

Retail sales and forecasts improve, but still cool

April 4, 2014
LANSING — Sales and short-term forecasts for Michigan retail businesses improved during February, but they still have a lot of frozen ground to make up after the extreme winter, according to the latest Michigan Retail Index, a joint project of Michigan Retailers Association and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Read More

It’s a tale of two economies for Michigan’s exporters

March 28, 2014
The worldwide economic recovery advances at two uneven speeds, according to the latest Interim Economic Assessment published this month by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a Paris-based think-tank of the 34 richest economies in the world. Read More

Retention of key players is essential to every organization

March 21, 2014
It was interesting to see the story on the 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan in the Grand Rapids Business Journal. Read More

Weather woes put parts of economy on thin ice

March 14, 2014
Still slow, but improving. That’s the latest word on the West Michigan economy, according to data collected during the last two weeks of February. Read More

Weather has retailers giving 2014 the cold shoulder

March 7, 2014
LANSING — Michigan retail businesses project only a 1.4 percent increase in their sales this year, following a poor holiday shopping season and a worse January, according to the Michigan Retail Index, a joint project of Michigan Retailers Association and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Read More

Michigan gives back its gains in foreign exports

February 28, 2014
The latest snapshot for Michigan’s exporting companies shows that, in the last month of 2013, foreign sales dropped to $4.77 billion from $5.22 billion in November, adjusted for seasonal variation, a statistical process that equalizes recurring volatility in the monthly state indicators for factors such as the number of days in a month and thus brings them in line with national indicators. Read More

Survey shows single-payer health care system has support

February 21, 2014
In December I wrote an article about a movie presented by The Alliance for Health at its First Friday Forum regarding the state of U.S. health care. Read More

Engaged employees make a difference in business

February 14, 2014
Starting a new year is always exciting. It becomes a line in the sand where people can say, “I’m making a change.” Read More