Michigan Economy Blog
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By Martin Lavelle       January 12, 2018

In September 2017, Amazon announced its search for a second North American headquarters location. Ultimately, 238 North American metropolitan areas submitted bids within the six-week allotted period, including several in the Seventh District 1. In this blog, I examine the potential Seventh District contenders based on some important criteria relating to logistics, business environment, and la... Read More

By Paul Traub       May 17, 2017

At the final event of its 2016-17 events calendar, the Detroit Association of Business Economists (D.A.B.E.) hosted three presentations on what it takes to own and operate a vineyard (where grapes are grown) or winery (where grapes are processed into wine) in Michigan. The event took place on May 11, 2017, at the Detroit Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. While it may sound romantic t... Read More

By Martin Lavelle       August 15, 2017

In a blog entry last year, I investigated the tightness of Michigan's labor market after the state's unemployment rate had reached its lowest point since 2001. More recently, in June 2017, Michigan's unemployment rate achieved yet a new low during the current expansionary cycle, falling to 3.8%. The summer of 2000 is the last time Michigan's unemployment rate fell below 4%. How does Michigan's cu... Read More

By Thomas H. Klier, Martin Lavelle       June 15, 2017

On June 1-2, 2017, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago held its 24th annual Automotive Outlook Symposium (AOS) at its Detroit Branch.1 In this blog entry, we cover the first day's panel, which was on autonomous vehicles and battery electric vehicles (BEVs).2 The panel's three experts focused on how these types of vehicles might affect personal mobility and the organization of our society; automot... Read More

By Paul Traub       April 27, 2017

People often ask me, “How is Detroit doing since its exit from bankruptcy?” I usually go into a long explanation of how there have been several signs of improving economic conditions since late 2014, when Detroit emerged from bankruptcy. However, some people would prefer a brief, yet economically meaningful, answer to their question. This has led me to believe that having all of these signs combi... Read More

By Paul Traub       March 7, 2017

On Tuesday, February 28, I hosted a 30-minute webcast on the current state of the U.S. and Michigan economies. This blog provides a summary of the webcast. A year-over-year comparison of some main economic indicators for the U.S. economy (table 1) shows that the U.S. economy continued to expand in 2016 at a moderate pace and labor markets continued to improve, but inflation remained below the Fe... Read More

By Martin Lavelle       January 20, 2017

On January 12, 2017, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's Detroit Branch, the Detroit Association of Business Economists (DABE), and WardsAuto hosted the inaugural Automotive Insights Conference. The conference was an expansion of the DABE's annual Bob Fish Memorial Automotive Luncheon. As did the luncheon, the conference provided an opportunity for auto industry analysts to share their insights... Read More

By Martin Lavelle       January 11, 2017

In my previous blog post, I discussed some of the comparative analysis on Philadelphia and Detroit that I did before (and after) the Seventh Biennial Reinventing Our Communities Conference—which took place on September 21–23, 2016. Here I want to recap what was shared at the conference. I got a lot out of attending this conference, which focused on urban economic development. The conference a... Read More

By Martin Lavelle       January 9, 2017

When I think of Philadelphia, the following subjects come to my mind: Benjamin Franklin, Betsy Ross, the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution. Also, being a sports fan, I think of what a great sports city it is: There’s quite a passionate fan base for its professional teams, as well as Big 5 college basketball at the Palestra. Admittedly, as s... Read More

By Paul Traub       December 21, 2016

Co-Sponsors Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago-Detroit Branch, DABE and WardsAuto Automakers and suppliers have long faced the need to adapt to ever-changing global competition, customer preferences and industry regulation. Up to now, automakers have been resilient in their ability to adapt, controlling costs while at the same time adhering to customer-driven performance requirements. A... Read More

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