The July Supply Management Research survey indicated the trade war with China and its tariffs slowed new orders coming in to West Michigan manufacturers.The recently released August survey presents a swing to marginal growth.
“Well, last month we were a little bit worried because we posted some of the most negative numbers that we’ve posted in a long time. But this month, those numbers came back to, what I guess I would say is, a flat report.”
Brian G. Long is director of Supply Management Research in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University.
In the August survey, the new orders index flipped back into positive territory. Still, there’s plenty of uncertainty with Long pointing out local industrial companies rely on a wide range of commodities subject to tariffs. And, the global economy is slowing.
“The European economy is negative. We’ve got a lot of countries around the world, including Japan and China and some of the others that are showing negative numbers. In fact, the United States is one of the few countries is posting anything that begins to resemble positive numbers right now.”
Long explains the U.S. economy will, at some point, also be pulled into the slowdown.
“My best guess at the future is that we may go into a period of just plain flat markets. In other words, we don’t slide into a recession, but instead we end up with a period of just very slow growth.”
Patrick Center, WGVU News.