West Michigan economy remains "flat" for second straight month
Brian Long Photo Credit GVSU
Patrick Center October 5, 2012 | WGVU
The economy is stabilizing at what economist Brian Long calls a “flat” level.
“Nobody likes to be flat they like to be growing but flat is still better than declining.”
Long produces his monthly Supply Management Research survey by interviewing purchasing managers from Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo. He says the flattening does not indicate a recession is near. If anything, Long says this report marks the second month in a row of sluggish activity.
“This slowdown is so slight compared to where we were that a lot of the people won’t even notice that there’s that much difference in the economy.”
The positives remain in automotive. Part suppliers continue to produce and local office furniture makers remain stable. Long also suggests improved housing values and increased sales are providing a lift.
“A lot of people, that’s where they have the majority of their net worth is tied up in their houses. And o when housing looks good and when housing stabilizes like it is right now that makes everybody feel good about spending money on other things.”
How long it lasts could depend on the economic slowdown in Europe that Long admits is impacting U.S. economic conditions.
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