The Grand Rapids Business Journal/e-forecasting.com MI Leading Economic Indicator, Michigan’s early bird of economic activity, increased in July 2009 to a reading of 95.6, where 2000 is set equal to 100.
The private forecasting service said the composite Michigan index of state leading indicators, which is produced jointly with Grand Rapids Business Journal, edged up 0.2 percent in July following a decline of 0.3 percent in June.
Seven of the 10 components that make up Michigan’s Leading Indicator had a positive contribution in July: Unemployment Claims, Weekly Hours in Manufacturing, Building Permits, Consumer Expectations (Regional), Stock Prices (National), Interest Rate Spread and Employment Barometer.
Three of the 10 components had a negative contribution to Michigan’s Leading Indicator in July: Exports of Manufactures, New Orders (Detroit Business) and Productivity Barometer (Detroit Business).
Looking at its six-month growth rate, a signal of turning points, Michigan’s Leading Indicator went down by an annual rate of 8.4 percent in July, after a decline of 10.2 percent in June. This compares to a long-term annual growth rate of 1.8 percent, the same as the annual growth rate of the state’s overall economic activity.
Evangelos Simos, chief economist of the consulting and research firm Infometrica Inc., is editor for International Affairs in the Journal of Business Forecasting, and professor/department chair at the Whittemore School of Business & Economics, University of New Hampshire.