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June economic growth "solid" in West Michigan as trade war impact looms

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

“Solid growth” is the term best used to describe West Michigan’s economy for the month of June. Some of the lowest unemployment in the state can be found in the region. But heading into July the folks at Supply Management Research will be keeping a close watch on a growing tariff war and how it may be impacting local industries.

There are 83 Michigan counties. Ottawa County has the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 2.7 percent. Kent County’s is 2.9 percent. The low unemployment rate indicates business conditions are solid and that business owners are feeling positive about the future.

Still, found within the most recent Supply Management Research survey, its director Brian G. Long is discovering concern within the local office furniture and aerospace industries.

"Many local manufacturers are worried that this tariff war is going to come down in the form of higher prices and lack of availability of some of the key commodities, like steel and aluminum that are needed by local businesses."

Long also surveyed local blueberry and cherry farmers with global sales who are also worried about an expanding tariff war.

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.