Muskegon, MI – If you liked the growth and prosperity in Muskegon County in 2017, you’re going to love 2018. That was the message of economist, Dr. Paul Isely, in his annual economic forecast delivered this morning at the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce’s Business for Breakfast, a sold-out gathering of 400 local business leaders.
While 2017 was a strong year for Muskegon’s business community, 2018 predictions indicate continued upward momentum. “Everything points to 2018 being a nice and smooth year for the business community,” says Isely, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs in the Seidman School of Business at Grand Valley State University. Isely and his team gathered data on a local, regional, and national basis to determine what the economic future of Muskegon County looks like.
For Muskegon County, Isely projects an upswing in sales growth. “We are seeing an acceleration in Muskegon that we aren’t seeing in other places when it comes to new business developments and employment,” says Isely.
The percentage of job growth predicted for Muskegon County in 2018 is expected to outpace the rest of West Michigan. And while young workers are the slowest age group to grow, more millennials are moving to Muskegon versus those leaving. However, the lack of workers will remain a challenge for business owners. 2018 will be the year where businesses will build more with fewer workers.
In addition, the housing prices throughout the nation are expected to increase. Muskegon County, as a whole, is expected to sustain an affordable housing market in comparison to the West Michigan region. Looking 18 to 24 months into the future, there is a good possibility for a recession to take place. While this could affect local businesses, Isely is confident that West Michigan, especially Muskegon, will not feel a significant impact predicting the coming downfalls to be shallow and not felt by most Muskegon industry sectors.
Overall, this year is anticipated to be a good year for Muskegon. It will be important for the business community to keep an eye on several issues, including the new tax law, potential inflation, and oil prices.
Dr. Isely holds his Ph.D. and M.S. in Economics from Purdue University and a dual B.S. in Physics and Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
About the Chamber
The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce is the premier business membership organization on the lakeshore representing over 1,200 businesses and organizations. The Muskegon Chamber represents businesses of every size and type all over West Michigan. The Chamber is celebrating 125 years in operation working to sustain an environment for business success through community leadership, promotion, inclusive business advocacy and valued member services. The Muskegon Chamber is an award-winning Chamber, being named Chamber of the Year for the State of Michigan in 2006, 2010, 2012, and 2015 by the Michigan Association of Chamber Professionals.