Business leaders’ confidence slipping


Michigan business leaders’ confidence levels in the state’s economic growth have dropped from earlier this year, according to a second-quarter survey by Business Leaders for Michigan.

BLM members attribute this to uncertainty about the outcome of the state’s elections in November.

Still, 57 percent of respondents believe Michigan’s economic growth will improve over the next six months, though that number is down from 74 percent during the first quarter.

In the next 18 months, 34 percent of business leaders expect improvement in Michigan’s economy, a drop of 24 percent from last quarter. During the same period, 60 percent of respondents anticipate no change and 6 percent expect a decline.

Comparatively, 66 percent of business leaders expect improvement in the U.S. economy, a drop of 17 percent from last quarter.

Again, this quarter, 100 percent of respondents see the same or better economic outcomes at state or U.S. levels over the next six months.

“Most of our members continue to believe the overall economy is in very good shape and think it will continue to improve once the full impact of federal tax reform occurs,” said Doug Rothwell, BLM president and CEO.

Of the survey respondents, 49 percent expect their companies’ capital investment in Michigan to increase during the next six months, and 43 percent expect it to remain the same.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve seen that level of growth,” Rothwell said.

Last quarter’s numbers in the same categories were 52 percent and 45 percent, respectively.

Down 10 percent from last quarter, 51 percent of respondents expect employment in Michigan to increase, while 46 percent expect it to stay about the same.

BLM officials could not be reached for additional comment.

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