Michigan Leading Economic Indicator for March

May 17, 2010
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The Grand Rapids Business Journal/e-forecasting.com Michigan Leading Economic Indicator, Michigan's early bird of economic activity, increased in March 2010 to a reading of 104.0, where 2000 is set equal to 100.

The private forecasting service said the composite Michigan index of state leading indicators, which is produced jointly with Grand Rapids Business Journal, went up 0.7 percent in March after an increase of 0.6 percent in February.

Eight of the 10 components that make up Michigan's Leading Indicator had a positive contribution in March: Unemployment Claims, Weekly Hours in Manufacturing, Building Permits, Exports of Manufactures, Consumer Expectations (Regional), Stock Prices (National), Interest Rate Spread and Employment Barometer.

Two of the 10 components had a negative contribution: New Orders and Productivity Barometer.

Looking at its six-month growth rate, a signal of turning points, Michigan's Leading Indicator went up by an annual rate of 9.4 percent in March, after an increase of 8.8 percent in February. In fact, this is the second month in a row where a record peak is reached. Prior to this extreme growth, the previous peak had been reached more than 15 years ago in June 1994 with a peak of 8.4 percent. This compares to a long-term annual growth rate of 1.4 percent, the same as the annual growth rate of the state's overall economic activity.

Evangelos Otto Simos is chief economist of the consulting and research firm e-forecasting.com.

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