West Michigan economy performing at a two year high

May 8, 2017

Credit gvsu.edu

West Michigan’s economy remains strong after two months of double-digit growth. But there are signs the Trump rally may be slowing. WGVU breaks down the latest Supply Management Research survey.

“We are at a two year high right now.” In particular, the Supply Management Research index for employment and new orders. “But we can’t expect that to continue. We have some industries in our area, namely automotive and office furniture that are at or near their two year highs themselves. As a result, we look forward to some slackening as far as the industry is concerned.”

Brian G. Long is director of Supply Management Research in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University. He says automotive sales are beginning to soften. “Things are good but it doesn’t necessarily mean things are growing at quite the rate that our statistics show. Part of this, of course, relates to the supply chain because the supply chain works backward. When a key industry starts to back down a little bit it takes a while before the entire supply chain that supplies it starts to notice it.”

Long is concerned the auto industry “may be facing some sales declines in the coming months beyond what we’ve seen already.”

He goes on to explain, "The office furniture business is still experiencing a spring rally, and smaller firms are outpacing their larger counterparts. Just like many months in the past, the performance for the industrial distributors continues to be mixed."

Patrick Center, WGVU News.