West Michigan’s economy continued to outperform during the month of May. WGVU breaks down the latest Supply Management Research survey.

The employment rate across much of West Michigan is a clear sign of economic strength.

“When we have Ottawa County at 2.1 percent unemployment and all of Kent County at 2.4 percent unemployment we have to conclude that the employment situation has improved and the unemployment situation is much, much better than it was at the peak of this recession.”

The West Michigan economy has been stuck in a slow growth pattern. The economic data from the month of May’s Supply Management Research survey indicates the local economy has turned to “flat growth.”

May was a rough month for U.S. auto sales. General Motors sales fell 18 percent and Ford dropped six percent from a year earlier. Domestic and foreign automakers experienced declines.

Brian G. Long, director of Supply Management Research in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University tells us the May auto report has turned West Michigan’s economy flat.