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West Michigan economy impacted by China's August swoon

Brian G. Long

As summer draws to a close, West Michigan’s August economic growth has slowed from July. WGVU breaks down the Supply Management Research August survey.

Just a few short weeks ago, there was a stock market sell-off the result of a slowing Chinese economy.

“We’re going to almost have to watch this China situation on a day-by-day basis because for the first time in history another country could draw us into a recession.”

That’s Brian G. Long, director of Supply Management Research in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University.

“Our index of employment which had been double-digits for many, many months now slowed this month for the first time and yet a year ago our index of employment did not slow at all.”

While employment, new orders, production and purchasing are all positive, those numbers are easing lower.

Locally, furniture makers remain positive along with auto parts suppliers.

“There isn’t that feeling that we can go too much farther on automotive because many of our plants are already at full capacity. There is also a feeling too that the number of new contracts coming in may have topped out.”

Long says the momentum from West Michigan’s slow growth economic pattern will continue over the next few months with business managers eyes focused on China.

Patrick Center, WGVU News.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.