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West Michigan economy "flat" in January

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The first of West Michigan’s economic data for the New Year has been analyzed and January’s Supply Management Research survey describes the growth as “slowing to a crawl.” WGVU takes a look at the numbers.

“The numbers that we have coming in are just very barely positive and some of them are just slightly negative but on the average we have to say that the economy in West Michigan is flat.”
 

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

“The economy underpinners such as the office furniture industry, the automotive industry and the aerospace industry are all at or near their peaks right now and as a result it has spilled over into our unemployment statistics.”

Long describes a positive employment outlook for the entire region.

“Even if we were looking at an economic downturn, the employment picture would probably continue to improve until we got knee deep into the downturn itself.”

Long explains the “December unemployment rate for Kent County eased to a 15-year low of 2.7 percent, down from 3.6 percent a year ago, and a fraction of the 12.6 percent rate reported in July of 2009 at the peak of the Great Recession.”

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.
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