Businesses Believe State's Economy Gaining Momentum


Published:

LANSING — While national business surveys show that a restrictive and uncertain business climate is limiting business growth and economic recovery nationally, many business owners in Michigan believe the state's recovery is gaining momentum, according to a recent survey of small- and mid-sized businesses.  The survey showed across-the-board improvement regarding sales, profits, hiring and wages, with indications that further growth is expected in the coming months, with the strongest area of growth being in the Metro Detroit region.  It appears the next big challenge for businesses in the developing recovery will be to help develop a highly skilled workforce, as the survey showed the lack of qualified workers in Michigan continues to be a growing concern for business owners.

These findings come from the semi-annual Michigan Future Business Index study, commissioned by Lansing-based Accident Fund Insurance Company of America and conducted by Marketing Resource Group, Inc. in May 2012.  A total of 864 Michigan business owners, operators, officers and managers were interviewed for this survey.

This survey yielded some positive results despite the lingering sluggish economic conditions.  The most promising sign noted in the survey was with regard to the level of dissatisfaction with economic conditions.  Business owners who are now saying they are satisfied with the economy is at 43 percent, representing a 32-point jump in net satisfaction since October 2011.  Additionally, 27 percent of businesses surveyed said they increased employee wages, a 12 percent improvement over the October 2011 survey when it was at 15 percent.  Also a very positive sign, the percentage of businesses that have hired more employees has doubled since October 2011, with 22 percent of businesses saying they increased the number of employees in the past six months.

"These surveys continue to show increasing evidence that the business climate in Michigan is improving," Mike Britt, president of Accident Fund Insurance Company of America, said.  "Our customer base is primarily composed of small- and mid-sized businesses, so we are happy to see Michigan businesses continue to grow and prosper.  A healthy business climate in Michigan is good for everyone."

Other positive results from the survey include:

• Six-month business outlook.  Over half (52 percent) of respondents said the business outlook for the next six months is good, with 16 percent saying it is "very good." 

• Six-month "bottom line" expectations.  Forty-four percent of business owners said they expect sales to increase in the next six months, a five percent increase from October 2011.  Thirty-four percent of respondents said they believe their bottom line will improve, compared to 24 percent last October.

• Hiring and layoffs.  There has been a significant increase in respondents who say they plan to hire more employees in the next six months, now at 25 percent, up from 15 percent in October 2011.  The percentage of those who said they will not hire more employees has dropped from 80 percent to 68 percent.  The outlook for increased wages is also improving, with 24 percent of respondents indicating they plan to increase wages for their employees within the next six months, up 18 percent from October 2011.  Regionally, the outlook for new hires is strongest in the Saginaw/Flint/Bay City region (31%); the Detroit Metro region (30%); and the West Michigan region (28%).

"The results of this latest Future Business Index survey are definitely encouraging," Chris Holman, CEO of the Michigan Business Network and publisher of the Greater Lansing Business Monthly, said.  "Many small- to medium-sized businesses across the state are saying they are seeing the positive signs needed to rekindle their optimism in Michigan's economy.  The continued investment in their businesses and their increases in hiring are a testament to their resiliency and commitment to improve Michigan's business climate."

To view a summary of the most recent FBI survey, please visit the Accident Fund Insurance Company of America website at www.accidentfund.com or the Michigan Business Network website at www.michiganbusinessnetwork.com/.

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Detroit Tigers Announce Partnership With Uber

With only two days until Tigers Opening Day at Comerica Park, the Detroit Tigers today announced a partnership with mobile ridesharing company Uber, naming them the team’s official ride-sharing company. This season, there will be a dedicated pick-up and drop-off zone for fans choosing to Uber to and from Comerica Park, located on the northbound side of the I-75 service drive, between John R and Brush Street.

Detroit Pistons and Henry Ford Health System Partner on Training, Rehab, and Sports Medicine Complex  

The Detroit Pistons and Henry Ford Health System today announced plans to build a new 100,000-square-foot training, rehabilitation, and sports medicine complex in Detroit’s New Center area. The site is bordered by Amsterdam Street, Second and Third Avenues, and a set of railroad tracks to the north. Construction is expected to begin this summer.

Ford Invests $1B in Argo AI, Works Towards Leading Autonomous Vehicle Market

Dearborn-based automaker Ford Motor Co. today announced a $1 billion investment in Pittsburgh-based Argo AI over the next five years, to develop a virtual driver system for the autonomous vehicle Ford has planned for 2021, and for potential licensing opportunities.

Meridian Winter Blast Set to Coincide With North American International Auto Show

The thirteenth annual Meridian Winter Blast, presented by Quicken Loans, has been moved up several weeks and is now scheduled to coincide with the final weekend of the North American International Auto Show — January 20-22.

Detroit Pistons to Move to Downtown in 2017, will Generate Additional $596.2M in Economic Impact

Agreements under which the Pistons will move to downtown Detroit and begin playing next season at the new Little Caesars Arena in The District Detroit, a $1.2 billion sports and entertainment development, have been announced today.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Black Star Farm’s VinBar in Ann Arbor to Offer Other Northern Michigan Wines
    Black Star Farms, which has operations on both the Leelanau and Old Mission peninsulas near...
  2. U-M Tech Transfer Reports 444 New Inventions in FY2017
    Researchers at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor reported 444 new inventions, up from last...
  3. 30 in Their Thirties 2017
    Disruption is a key aspect of the 2017 class of 30 in Their Thirties, upending such traditional...
  4. Cork and Gabel Restaurant to Open in Corktown Spring 2018
    Cork and Gabel, a restaurant fusion of Irish, Italian, and German cuisine, is slated to open in...
  5. Arsenal of Innovation
    Propelled by the U.S. Army’s large R&D operation in Warren, the defense, automotive,...
  6. Randal Brown to Serve as General Counsel for The Great Lakes Water Authority
    Detroit-based Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA), a water and sewer services provider, has hired...