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The U.S. economy showed signs of softening in June, but in West Michigan, no clear sign of a slowdown

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

Local purchasing managers respond to June Institute for Supply Management Research Survey.

More than 40 purchasing managers from West and Southwest Michigan respond to the Institute for Supply Management Research Survey. In June they reported new orders, production and employment remained positive. Nationally, that’s not the case.

“There are economists that look at our surveys of industrial purchasing managers around he country and cite reasons why we are probably sliding into a recession.”

Brian G. Long is director of Supply Management Research in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University. He says economists have taken note of businesses living off their declining inventories rather than purchase new goods.

“They’re looking at the rapidly falling prices for industrial commodities, both of which in the past have signaled a significant recession in the works.”

While there are signs of a slowdown, there are industries that remain strong.

“For West Michigan, that appears to be automotive. Automotive remains strong because demand for cars remains strong and we still have a large backlog of demand for cars that has not been met. Even if we do slide into a recession, the chances are it may not affect West Michigan nearly as much as it does other places in the country.”

Another positive, although most local firms have filled many of their open positions, the June employment index again revealed double-digit growth.

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.