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Monday, April 23, 2012

Michigan Economy Picking up Steam

Here is a report from the Detroit Free Press:

PNC Bank's chief economist delivered an upbeat economic forecast for the U.S. and Michigan on Thursday, predicting increased job growth nationwide and a moderate increase in consumer spending this year.
"The prognosis for the economy over the next couple years is positive," Stuart Hoffman told some of the bank's customers during a luncheon speech at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham.
Hoffman expects the U.S. economy to add 2.25 million to 2.5 million jobs this year, up from the 1.6 million gained in 2011. "The economy had a pretty good start in the first quarter," he said, noting that employers created 600,000 jobs from January through March.
Hoffman also said that nationally, the housing market is showing modest improvement and consumer spending will likely show moderate growth of 2% to 2.5% this year.
He anticipates auto sales to come in at 14.7 million vehicles this year, rising closer to 15 million in 2013.
Though recessions in several European countries will slow the U.S. economy, Hoffman said the overall negative effect of reduced exports to Europe is very small. "Europe will not make or break the U.S. economy," he added.
In other economic news, the MoneyTree Report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association that is being released today shows a surge in venture capital investment in Michigan companies during the first quarter.
Twelve companies in the state obtained $41.4 million from venture capitalists, up from the $4 million that went to seven companies in the year-ago period.
This was the strongest first quarter since 2002.
Of the $41.4 million, 40% or $16.4 million went to CytoPherx, an Ann Arbor medical device firm. Relume Technologies of Oxford, a maker of LED lighting products, received $6 million.
WorkForce Software, a Livonia workforce management software developer, got $5.1 million, and Duo Security, an Ann Arbor online security software firm, obtained $5 million.

Thanks to the Detroit Free Press staff for this good news!

Rogers City's economy has been slower to pick up speed, but there are some signs of new activity.  For example, the Chicory Cafe is about to open.  Also, Carmenuse Lime and Stone Company has been working all winter and spring to renovate the infrastructure at their Rogers City facility.  The County is about ready to open its new building too.

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