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Muskegon economy forecast: things are looking up


A day after experts forecast a slower 2017 economy in Grand Rapids that may ultimately lead to a recession, one economist says the future is looking bright in Muskegon.

While experts have said the economy will slow down in Kent and Ottawa counties in the next year, specifically in job growth, just 40 miles away at the Muskegon County annual economic forecast, experts say the county’s best days may be still ahead.

Economist Paul Isley of the Seidman school of Business at Grand Valley State University gave the keynote address at the economic forecast. He says Muskegon’s improving economy in 2017 is a sign that the County is finally catching up to its neighbors.

“So, Muskegon is in a different world than Ottawa and Kent County. Ottawa and Kent County started to expand right away after the recession. Muskegon waited a little while, so where we are seeing employment growth slow down here, in Muskegon we are starting to see it increase.”

While Grand Rapids has experienced a revitalized downtown coupled with new developments including the new $11 million concert venue 20 Monroe Live opening up next week, Isley says Muskegon is about to undergo the same transformation.

“And so they are going to start to see some of the things that Kent County saw a year ago start to happen in Muskegon, and they are going to be real happy this year.”

Last week Muskegon City officials announced plans on a new $30 million Watermark Development in downtown Muskegon.   

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