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West Michigan's industrial economy shows strength heading into 2024

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

The December Supply Management Research Survey indicates signs of positivity.

Supply chains have returned to normal. West Michigan auto parts suppliers are running full-tilt post United Auto Workers strike. Employers are reporting filling open positions is less burdensome.

“And most commodity prices have returned to normal. Not a bad way to start the new year.”

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

“Another positive note from our December statistics is that confidence at all levels of the economy seems to be improving consumer confidence from The Conference Board and consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan. Both of these indices posted nice gains this past month and locally, our long-term business outlook index, which queries the perception in the industrial market of where we will be over the next three to five years up ticked to plus-44 which is now a four-year high.”

While Michigan’s unemployment rate has ticked up slightly to 4.3%.

“The current unemployment rate in Ottawa County is 2.5%. So, the unemployment rate in all of the counties on the westside of Michigan is still far below that 4.3% state average.”

And inflation continues its decline. Long points out its now down to 2.6% just ahead of the Federal Reserve’s 2.0% target.

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.