GVSU expert: Pace of West Michigan's industrial economy moderates

the L. William Seidman Center with background of blue sky, white cloud
Brian G. Long, director of Supply Management Research in the Seidman College of Business, tracks monthly business trends.
Image Credit: Valerie Hendrickson

West Michigan's industrial economy continues to expand, although the pace has moderated, according to Brian G. Long, director of Supply Management Research in the Seidman College of Business. 

Long's monthly business trends report showed new orders posted in June (+33) fell below the May index of +40. The production index remained stable and the purchasing index eased in June to +38 from May (+41). Long said, overall, purchasing officials continue to battle ongoing logistical problems, including material shortages and rising prices.

"Although some industries have fully recovered from the pandemic shock, a significant number of firms in our survey panel continue to experience spot shortages and shipment delays for a wide range of industrial commodities with no immediate end in sight," Long said.

Michigan's unemployment rate was down to 5 percent in June from 5.1 percent in May (the latest reporting month available), Long said, adding that surplus unemployment benefits end in all states in September. 

In West Michigan, the employment index in June was +25, down from the 10-year high of +40 in March and steady from the May index of +24, Long said. "Again, the major segments of COVID-19 unemployment in West Michigan remain in the hospitality and service industries, not the industrial firms," he said.

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 from the region's major industrial manufacturers, distributors and industrial service organizations. It is patterned after a nationwide survey conducted by the Institute for Supply Management. Each month, the respondents are asked to rate eight factors as "same," "up" or "down."

For more information, contact Brian Long at (269) 870-0428.