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BLM 3Q 2019 economic forecast: Business Leaders convey mixed views of Michigan, U.S. economies

Nov. 5 CEO Summit aimed at level-setting on global economic outlook, focusing on state’s recession readiness
BLM 3Q 2019 economic forecast: Business Leaders convey mixed views of Michigan, U.S. economies
Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019
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DETROIT — Michigan’s business leaders will focus on the state’s ability to weather a major recession and thrive in a knowledge economy when they meet at a major CEO summit in Detroit next month.

The Nov. 5 event is considered particularly timely given these leaders’ growing concerns about future economic growth over the short and long term, as indicated by a third-quarter economic survey conducted by Business Leaders for Michigan.

“While top executives across Michigan remain optimistic about their companies’ future capital investment and employment growth in the state, we’re seeing a downturn in their expectations for both the state and U.S. economies,” said BLM president & CEO Doug Rothwell. “This indicator for the future merits an important statewide discussion, which we look forward to hosting next month.”

The latest survey data was collected earlier this month.

“Michigan business leaders are a little less enthusiastic about their own future investment during the next six to 12 months,” Rothwell said. “While most are not yet anticipating any reduction in their employment levels, fewer job providers are coming down on the side of growth. Is it time to worry? Not yet, but we need to have some critical conversations about what lies ahead.”



Surveyed companies have a deteriorating outlook for the Michigan and U.S. economies.

“Roughly 95 percent of BLM members think the economic outlook is going to stay about the same or worsen during the next six to 12 months for both Michigan and the nation,” Rothwell said. “In Michigan, what’s concerning is how many have moved over to the ‘worse/lower’ column during the past quarter—a shift that’s more striking than what we saw for the U.S. economy generally. The GM strike and protracted trade disputes are having an impact.”



These numbers reflect a major departure from the record high optimism shown in the first quarter of 2018, when more than 80 percent of those surveyed anticipated growth in the U.S. economy over the short and long terms, and 74 percent predicted short-term growth for Michigan as well.

Global economists from Bank of America and UM will speak at BLM’s Nov. 5 event, as will state Treasurer Rachael Eubanks. To register, visit https://businessleadersformichigan.com/event/2019-michigan-ceo-summit/.

Quarterly Economic Outlook Reports are available at: https://businessleadersformichigan.com/category/data/surveys/.

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