"Confidence" is driving 2017 West Michigan economy

Jan 9, 2017

Credit gvsu.edu

The west Michigan economy slowed during the month of December. You can chalk it up as a holiday slowdown. As we enter January and the new year, what is the outlook among purchasing managers surveyed each month for the Supply Management Research Report?

“The Stock Market is in record territory right now.” Brian G. Long is director of Supply Management Research in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University. “This means that business confidence has improved and our local number for business confidence are as good as they’ve been all year long.”

Twelve months ago the stock market was sliding and economists were concerned there was a 50/50 chance it was the beginning of a recession.

“2017 is just the opposite. Almost all of our major indices are actually heading up and at this time our confidence is heading up with it.”

Why the growing optimism? Long points to a stock market in record territory,consumer confidence recovering to a 15-year high and while auto sales may be tapering off in 2017 will still remain strong.

“Housing prices have finally recovered to the pre-recession level and that means that a lot of people feel a lot better about their financial situation.”

Long also likes the third quarter 2016 GDP gains coming in strong at 3.5 percent.

Patrick Center, WGVU News.