Michigan Retail Index
Michigan Retailers' 2014 Forecasts Turn Chilly
Michigan retail businesses project only a 1.4 percent increase in their own sales this year, following a poor holiday shopping season and a worse January, according to the Michigan Retail Index, a joint project of Michigan Retail Association (MRA) and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
"We’re still experiencing the adverse effects of a severe winter," said James P. Hallan, MRA president and chief executive officer, “January provided no respite from the subzero cold and snow that have chilled shopping, or from a still-sluggish economy that makes consumers more cautious.”
The January survey showed 30 percent of retailers increased sales over the same month last year, while 46 percent recorded declines and 24 percent reported no change. The results create a seasonally adjusted performance index of 42.5, down from 50.5 in December. A year ago January the index was at 57.9.
Looking forward, 45 percent of retailers expect sales during February–April to increase over the same period last year, while 20 percent project a decrease and 35 percent no change. That puts the seasonally adjusted outlook index at 58.5, down from 63.3 in December. A year ago January it was 74.7.