Caroline MacGregor April 5, 2013 | WGVU The survey’s index of business improvement, called new orders, came in at +23,
up from February’s +16 and up considerably from +0 reported in January. The
production index was also up slightly and the employment index rose by 4
"six months now"
suppliers continue to feed the strength of the Michigan economy. Long says production
schedules continue to be revised upward for certain lines of cars and trucks, creating
optimism among local firms. The capital equipment firms remain widely mixed,
but this month’s bias is clearly to the up side.
Office furniture firms are
still positive, but Long says the market is likely to stabilize at its current
“the employment situation”
Long says an
improvement in the office rental market will help boost sales. In early May,
the debt ceiling will be reached and there will again be the possibility of a
government shutdown. He also said it will take many more years before the
unemployment rate returns to 5 percent, given some economists suggest 5 percent is the new norm.
Long says not long ago, 5% unemployment was considered to be
characteristic of a recession.
The monthly issued Institute for Supply Management survey of business
conditions considers 45 purchasing managers in the greater Grand Rapids area
and 25 in Kalamazoo. Respondents include major industrial manufacturers,
distributors and industrial service organizations.
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