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Current business trends steady

Posted on September 02, 2010

The greater Grand Rapids industrial economy remains steady, according to the results of a monthly survey compiled by Brian G. Long, director of Supply Management Research in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University.  

The survey results are based on data collected in the last two weeks of August. The survey’s index of business improvement, called new orders, remained almost unchanged at +30, down from +31. However, the production index rose to +42, up from +27. The index of purchases shot up to +46 from +23. The best news came from the employment index, which rose to a 16-year high of +46, up from +33.  

Long said a look at individual industries is encouraging. “Our automotive suppliers reported production to be strong for the month, but no rush of new orders,” he said. “The reports for the industrial distributors were especially positive.”

Long said conditions for the office equipment and furniture industry continue to slowly improve, but the housing industry continues to suffer.
The Institute for Supply Management survey is a monthly survey of business conditions that includes 45 purchasing managers in the greater Grand Rapids area and 25 in Kalamazoo. The respondents are purchasing managers from the region's major industrial manufacturers, distributors, and industrial service organizations. It is patterned after a nationwide survey conduced by the Institute for Supply Management. Each month, the respondents are asked to rate eight factors as "same," "up" or "down." An expanded version of this report and details of the methodology used to compile it are available at


* Long says increases in the production index and index of purchases can be attributed to the automotive industry (audio).

* Long says the office furniture industry continues to slowly improve (audio).

* Long says the housing market continues to suffer (audio).

* Long predicts the local economy will enter into a slow growth period (audio).




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