GVSU Expert: Western Michigan Economy Better But Still Stable


Brian Long. Courtesy of Grand Valley State University

(As seen on WZZM 13) Western Michigan’s economy remains plagued by supply chain issues, according to a new report.

In western Michigan and across the country, supply chain issues have resulted in longer delivery times, missed deliveries, higher prices and sometimes exorbitant shipping costs, said Brian G. Long, director of supply management research at Seidman College of Business, Grand Valley State. University.

Long-time local business leaders interviewed and the findings of his report, released on November 8, are based on data collected in the last two weeks of October.

“What seems most worrying to some of our survey participants is that there is still no end in sight for our supply chain problems,” Long said. “While these supply chain gremlins are inhibiting the economy of West Michigan, modest economic growth continues.”

Most automakers are extremely frustrated that they can’t build or ship most of their cars due to a $ 15 shortage of computer chips, Long said.

“Throughout the chip crisis, automakers have prioritized the production of large pickups, some of the most profitable vehicles in the industry,” he said. “Ford and Ram are among the automakers offering 0% financing for 72 months on large pickups. At the same time, competition in the segment is increasing, with a redesigned Toyota Tundra and the industry’s first electric pickup, the Rivian R1T, on the horizon.

Regarding inflation, Long said the Federal Reserve still stuck to its theory that current inflation is “transient.”

“They won’t say how long before we can expect to get out of the high inflation that we are currently experiencing,” he said.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Nov. 10, consumer prices rose at the fastest rate in more than three decades in October, as fuel costs rose, supply chains remained under pressure and rents rose. – worrying news for the economic decision-makers of the federal government. Reserve. Overall prices have risen 6.2% in the past 12 months, the fastest pace since 1990, and inflation has started to accelerate again on a monthly basis.

Highlights from Long’s October report:

  • The employment index remained positive at +24, against +27.
  • New Orders, or the Business Improvement Index, fell from +8 to +15.
  • The production index, or production, rebounded strongly to +19, from -1.
  • The purchasing index rose from +14 to +8.

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. Respondents come from major industrial manufacturers, distributors and industrial service organizations in the region.

It is based on a national survey conducted by the Institute for Supply Management. Each month, respondents are asked to rate eight factors as “same”, “top” or “bottom”.

More information is available by contacting Brian Long at (269) 870-0428 or downloading the full report at gvsu.edu.