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West Michigan economy flattens in September survey

Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University photo
Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University

Supply chain constraints persist.

The September Supply Management Research survey indicates West Michigan’s industrial economy is flattening after an August slowdown.

“What it means is the pent-up demand has finally been satisfied, but the supply constraints that we have in the industrial market right now are inhibiting our new orders index from rising to the level that it should be by now.”

Brian G. Long is director of Supply Management Research in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University. He explains there are constraints in most industrial and consumer markets and the computer chip shortage, impacting automakers in particular, could linger another full year. And shortages result in increased prices.

“This kind of pandemic has never happened in recent years and it’s never happened to the people that are operating the current supply chains. This is what worries us is that we may be building some kind of a bubble that will break once all of these demands become satisfied.”

And employers continue experiencing a worker shortage. With a record number of West Michigan job posting, Long says people who dropped out of the workforce need to return.

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