Michigan’s Business Leaders Forecast Continued Economic Growth


A survey released Wednesday from the Business Leaders for Michigan shows its members expect both the state and U.S. economies to grow over the next 18 months, with Michigan’s economy outpacing the U.S., a forecast consistent with the organization’s surveys from the last 11 quarters.

“The good news from this survey is that Michigan’s largest employers continue to be much more optimistic about Michigan’s short- and long-term economic prospects than they were a couple of years ago,” says Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of the business roundtable, which represents 25 percent of the state’s economy and educates nearly 50 percent of the state’s university students. “Job providers continue to be bullish on the state’s economic prospects and are backing it up with increased hiring and investment.”

Nearly 55 percent of business leaders surveyed believe Michigan’s economy will grow over the next six months, while only 34 percent forecast the U.S. economy will grow within the same period. Not surprisingly, more than half of companies represented in the state’s business roundtable are forecasting increased investment in Michigan over the next six months.

The quarterly survey also found 71 percent of Michigan’s business leaders believe the state’s economy will grow compared to only 46 percent of business leaders forecasting the U.S. economy will grow in the next 18 months.

This continued optimism shows confidence in policies that are being adopted on a statewide level, says Kelly Chesney, spokeswoman for the Business Leaders for Michigan. “Michigan has done a lot to get back on the right track. We’ve fixed the basics, we’re balancing our budget on time, and we’re looking at the tax policy and regulatory structure in the state. And that’s reflected in the survey, it’s not going unnoticed.”

IN OTHER GROWTH NEWS, Detroit scored consistently higher than the overall global results in a recent business climate survey by the Alexandria, Va.-based Entrepreneurs’ Organization.

The Global Entrepreneur Indicator survey — completed by 75 EO Detroit members whose average annual revenue exceeds $7 million, along with 5,677 members from the global organization — found that more than 57 percent of Detroit members increased the number of full-time employees in their organizations in the last six months, compared with 55 percent globally.

Likewise, nearly 75 percent of Detroit business leaders anticipate new hires within the next six months, versus 67 percent globally.

“This is the fifth straight year that EO Detroit has outpaced the global results in several important categories,” says Mark Winter, president of EO Detroit in Southfield, and managing partner of Identity, an integrated public relations firm in Bingham Farms. “We are a community of fighters and creators and that is clearly represented in our numbers.”

To read the full EO report, click here.