Michigan Retail Industry Slips

July 24, 2003
| By Katy Rent |
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LANSING — The Michigan Retail Index is showing that Michigan retailers’ sales and forecasts both slipped slightly in June after several months of slow, steady improvement.

The MRI, a joint project of the Michigan Retailers Association (MRA) and Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, showed that projections for third quarter sales leveled off after two months of rising forecasts. Similarly, overall sales performance dipped after three months of improvement.

Still, 61 percent of retailers project increased third quarter sales over the same period a year ago, while 17 percent expect declines and 22 percent predict flat sales. The results create a seasonally adjusted outlook index of 68.1, down from 69 in May.

Thirty-seven percent of retailers increased sales in June from the same month a year ago, while 50 percent experienced declines and 13 percent reported no change. The results create a seasonally adjusted performance index of 42.6 down from 45.8 in May.

“Compared to the rest of the nation, Michigan’s sales appeared stronger in May and somewhat weaker in June,” said Larry Meyer, MRA chairman and CEO. “But the overall trend this year is upward, so we don’t view June’s figures as a step backward.”

Northern Michigan retailers posted the best results, with 47 percent recording increases. They were followed closely by central Michigan retailers at 45 percent.

Jewelry retailers led the industry, with 54 percent reporting increased sales.

Closer to home, only 27 percent of Grand Rapids retailers reported an increase in sales for the past month, with 50 percent reporting a decrease and 23 percent reporting no change.

The area was, however, more hopeful for the next three months with 55 percent of businesses looking to increase sales activity, 9 percent forecasting a decrease and 36 percent expecting no change.

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