The most recent Supply Management Research survey indicates the West Michigan’s economy is experiencing slower growth.
“This month we had a sharper drop in auto sales than we’ve had in any of the previous months this year.” That’s Brian G. Long, director of Supply Management Research in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University.
He explains July marked the sixth straight month auto sales have been down year over year. “That means that we are reaching that level of saturation that we all knew we were going to meet eventually.”
And that’s impacting local auto parts suppliers. “The number that they quote, which of course is 6.9 percent down for this month, includes both cars and light trucks. But up until now truck sales have generally held up and it’s just been cars that have been falling off as far as the new business is concerned.”
Long explains the declines are mixed for local auto part suppliers, “based on the specific car or truck lines companies are supporting.” Where a particular car or truck lines sales are slumping is where Long says he sees parts supplier production cuts.
There are bright spots found within the West Michigan economy. Office furniture makers remain stable, agriculture is looking strong and tourism is poised for a record year.
Patrick Center, WGVU News.