West Michigan’s economy wrapped up 2017 with what is described as “solid growth” in December

Jan 8, 2018

Brian G. Long, director of Supply Management Research in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University
Credit gvsu.edu

West Michigan’s economy wrapped up 2017 with what is described as “solid growth” in December. WGVU takes a look at the number from last month’s Supply Management Research survey. The trajectory gives its author a good idea of what the local economy may bring in 2018.

“The general feeling is we could hit 3.5 percent growth rate as far as the year 2018 is concerned.”

Brian G. Long is director of Supply Management Research in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University.

“This will be our best year if this in turn comes to pass.”

Where Long sees signs of weakness is in the automotive industry where sales experienced a five percent loss in December. That will have some impact on local auto parts suppliers.

“But we will not have the collapse like we’ve had other times because the rest of the economy is still on an even keel...We look going into 2018 for the continued strong employment situation to continue but there’s only so far we can go. Automotive can only take us so far and we’re probably approaching the upper limit of what we can expect.”

While West Michigan can cheer it has some of the lowest unemployment rates in the state, Long foresees employers facing a qualified workers shortage coming later in the year.

Patrick Center, WGVU News.