Michigan Economy Blog
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By Martin Lavelle       March 6, 2014

Recently, Detroit's newly elected mayor, Mike Duggan, visited the Detroit Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to discuss possible avenues of revitalization for the city with our Board of Directors. On this occasion—and as Detroit looks past its fiscal bankruptcy and toward a brighter future—we briefly took stock of the Branch's role in serving the Southeast Michigan community. Clearly, ... Read More

By Paul Traub       January 29, 2014

There has been a lot written about manufacturing returning to the United States from abroad, and there are data to suggest that this is happening. Rising wages abroad, falling energy prices in the U.S., and declining willingness of domestic manufacturers to suffer the delays and poorer quality of overseas supply chains are conspiring to shift some production back to the U.S., a trend called onsho... Read More

By Martin Lavelle       December 16, 2013

On November 7–8, 2013, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Detroit Branch and the Citizens Research Council of Michigan hosted a two-day symposium on municipal bankruptcy, with the aim of uncovering what could be learned from cities that have experienced and are currently experiencing fiscal struggles. Local experts were given the chance to comment on presentations by national experts regard... Read More

By Paul Traub       December 11, 2013

U.S. light vehicle sales for November jumped to 16.3 million units on a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) basis. This makes November the largest sales month on a SAAR basis since February, 2007. Some analysts attribute November’s strong performance to a month-end surge in sales and to the fact that Black Friday landed on the final weekend of the month. Among the automakers, GM remained in th... Read More

By Martin Lavelle       December 4, 2013

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average one-way commute time for U.S. workers increased by almost three minutes between 1990 and 2000. However, since 2000, this commute time has fluctuated between 25 and 26 minutes, even with the numbers of drivers continuing to increase. Why hasn’t the average commute time increased further? For one, U.S. roadways have also expanded since 2000—which... Read More

By Thomas Walstrum, William Testa       November 21, 2013

The dispersion of auto assembly line-type jobs from Michigan to the rest of the U.S. has been widely discussed. But it may be important to examine whether other jobs in the automotive value chain have also dispersed, particularly R&D and headquarters-administrative jobs. It is possible that a sizable part of automotive R&D and administration are spatially separable from production, wi... Read More

By Paul Traub       October 22, 2013

The U.S. Census Bureau announced in August in its U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services Report for June 2013 that the petroleum deficit had fallen to its lowest level ($17.4 billion) since August 2009 ($17.9 billion).1 This decline was the result not only of declining imports but also of an increase in exports. The petroleum trade deficit was reported to be down $34 billion dollars, year... Read More

By Paul Traub       June 13, 2013

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago held its 20th annual Automotive Outlook Symposium (AOS) on May 30-31, 2013, at its Detroit Branch. Just a few days following the conference, light vehicle sales (i.e., car and light truck sales) for May were reported to be 15.2 million units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate. This selling rate was 9.6% higher than May 2012's selling rate and was consistent w... Read More

By Martin Lavelle       June 3, 2013

Employment levels in Michigan have recently shown signs of improvement. In fact, since the end of the Great Recession in mid-2009, Michigan’s household employment has increased 2.6%, matching the national gain. However, these recent improvements belie Michigan’s poor employment conditions stemming from a long period of subpar economic growth. Indeed, Michigan experienced a “one-state recessio... Read More

By Paul Traub       April 24, 2013

Enhanced exploration and recovery of natural gas and other fuels from shale rock have significantly boosted expected availability of energy in the United States. Projections of natural gas supply in this country have gone up so quickly in the past decade that it is hard to get a good handle on where energy markets are going to settle in the decade ahead—that is, at what price and in what industri... Read More

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