Michigan Business Conditions Survey Finds Guarded Optimism

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Michigan business owners are modestly optimistic about business conditions in the yaer ahead, according to the Michigan Economic Outlook survey sponsored by the Business Improvement Team, a Bloomfield Hills-based consortium of independent Michigan consulting firms.

Business Improvement Team says the survey, conducted by Business Research Group of Bloomfield Hills, will be conducted going forward on a semi-annual basis.

A panel of Michigan entrepreneurs, business leaders, academics and industry experts was carefully selected to provide their six-month outlook on Michigan’s business and economy based upon their professional experiences and observations. Participation by region roughly mirrors Michigan’s population. 

Three quarters or more of the panel anticipate at least a moderate increase in each of the following indicators for Michigan companies:

* Financial prospects compared to 2009
* Job creation from small Michigan companies
* Michigan manufacturing
* New orders
* Innovation
* Total hours worked
 
However, not all indicators point to better economic times in Michigan and some sectors are not expected to rebound. BIT’s business panel members predict that the number of foreclosures in Michigan will continue to climb, while tourism and jobs created in medium and large companies will likely see only modest increases. Many believe that individual wages will be stagnant and, although not an indicator of economic growth, the cost of health care and other employee benefit costs will continue to increase. 

“Although it is easy for business owners to be pessimistic as they ride through this recession, our survey shows that they believe the next six months will be better for Michigan in most areas,” said Jeannette L. Saquet, president of the Business Research Group. “Businesses are particularly concerned about health and benefit costs along with possible increases in taxes but believe that new business and orders will increase. Future waves of this survey will compare trends in Michigan’s economy.”

Members of the Business Improvement Team include Absolute Engineering & Consulting, B2B CFO Services, the Center for Computer Resources, Fletcher Business Solutions, Franklin CIO Services, Hensel HR Consulting and Social Orgs.

More at www.bizimpteam.com.

More about the research organization at www.businessresearchgroup.net.

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