West Michigan's economic winter thaw bodes well for 2016

Mar 10, 2016

Credit gvsu.edu

The west Michigan economy got off to a crawl in January. Then the calendar flipped and new orders came pouring in - kick-starting the local economy in February. WGVU takes a closer look at the February Supply Management Research survey.

“We had a very anemic month as the New Year opened and we started to worry a little bit.”

Brian G. Long, director of Supply Management Research in the Seidman College of Business described economic growth as “slowing to a crawl” in his January Supply Management Research survey.

Long says there’s usually a flurry of economic activity coming out of the holiday season. This year it just took an extra month.

“Finally 2016 has arrived for the industrial economy.”

New orders on the rise in February.

“That is the indicator as to where the economy is generally going. As soon as new orders are placed a lot of activity starts to happen; materials are ordered, people are hired, equipment is bought but it doesn’t show up statistically for months later. But the fact that those new orders have come in says that the future looks better at least because of the strength of new orders.”

Long explains record automotive sales has made local parts suppliers world competitive on price and the West Michigan office furniture industry is at or near its peak.