Michigan's business leaders remain optimistic about economy

Posted on February 5, 2013

State business leaders remain optimistic that Michigan’s economy will continue to outpace that of the U.S., according to a poll released Tuesday afternoon by Business Leaders for Michigan.

Sixty percent of the organization’s members said they plan to increase hiring in Michigan this year. Almost two-thirds said they added jobs in the state in 2012.

Business Leaders for Michigan is made up of senior executives of the state’s largest companies and universities, which combined contribute almost 25 percent of the state’s economy and provide more than 320,000 jobs.

“The avoidance of the fiscal cliff and slow but steady domestic growth has boosted the overall economic outlook of Michigan’s largest job providers. They remain far more optimistic about Michigan versus the nation’s economy by the largest margins we have seen since we started conducting these surveys in 2009,” Doug Rothwell, Business Leaders’ president and CEO, said in a release.

“The optimism of the state’s largest job providers for Michigan is based on progress made stabilizing the state’s finances, addressing long-term debt and structural budget deficits and improving the costs of doing business here. These are the same issues they feel are not being addressed in Washington and are holding the national economy back from full recovery.”

Highlights of the survey of the 80 members of the organization:

  • – 55 percent think the state’s economy will grow over the next six months. None thought it will be worse. Almost 70 percent said the U.S. economy will be flat over the same period.
  • – 82 percent think the state’s economy will grow over the next 18 months, with none thinking it will shrink. Only 57 percent think the U.S. economy will grow over the next 18 months, and 15 percent think it will contract.

Tom Henderson, Crain’s Detroit Business.