W. MI economic forecast predicts slowing growth

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A new economic forecast expects growth to slow in West Michigan next year.

The Grand Rapids Economic Forecast 2020 was released Thursday morning by Grand Valley State University economics professor Paul Isely.

>>PDF: Grand Rapids Economic Forecast 2020

He expects employment growth of .3 to .7 percent in 2020 for the greater Grand Rapids economy — about half of last year’s projection.

The Forecast Business Confidence Index for 2020 is 77.5 percent, a drop from the expectations seen in the last few years.

Isely said the concerns for West Michigan’s economy right now are a weakening manufacturing industry, uncertainty surrounding the 2020 presidential election and a lack of available workers.

“Right now, it’s going to be about finding ways to bring more people to West Michigan. There are just not enough workers here,” said Isely.

The great Grand Rapids economy includes Allegan, Kent, Muskegon and Ottawa counties.