West Michigan economy grew in September but the pace is slowing

Oct 9, 2015

West Michigan economy continues to grow but there are signs that the growth is beginning to slow. That’s what the data from September’s Supply Management Research survey suggests.

The Seidman College of Business Supply Management Research index is a survey of 70 purchasing managers from Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo. What are they telling us? The economy may be slowing.

“We continue to have good employment in our area but this is the first month that we’ve shown a negative index in almost six years now.”

2009, the year the Great Recession officially came to an end.

Brian G. Long is director of Supply Management Research he’s not concerned about the latest employment survey.

“On that one issue of employment and unemployment this has been our best year so far. I can’t say that we are back to full employment yet but the fact remains if we compare the same index with the past we are doing quite well.”

That’s in spite of a slowing global and national economy.

Locally, the economy is built on aerospace, automotive suppliers and office furniture makers that may have peaked.

“These are cyclical industries and right now we’re at the top of the cycle and the industries are telling us, ‘Gee, I think we have enough. We’re not going to hire more and we’re not going to expand more.’”

Long points out there’s not much room left to grow.

Patrick Center, WGVU News.