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The Michigan Retail Index is a monthly broad-based gauge of key retail activity in Michigan. A new index is released by the Michigan Retailers Association (MRA) on the fourth Wednesday of each month. The index is based on a monthly survey of MRA members. The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago assists in collecting, compiling and interpreting the survey data.

Last Updated: 04/21/16

Michigan Retail Index

Michigan Retailers’ Sales and Forecasts Remain Positive

Michigan retailers’ sales and forecasts remained positive in March while slipping only slightly from the previous month, according to the latest Michigan Retail Index survey, a joint project of Michigan Retailers Association (MRA) and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

“March sales performance continued the momentum that started in February after two subpar months,” said James P. Hallan, MRA president and chief executive officer. “Although gasoline prices have been rising, overall economic conditions are positive for consumers.”

The survey found 43 percent of Michigan retailers increased sales over the same month last year, while 37 percent recorded declines and 20 percent reported no change. The results create a seasonally adjusted performance index of 53.3, down from 58.7 in February. A year ago March the performance index stood at 66.8.

Looking forward, 66 percent of retailers expect sales during April–June to increase over the same period last year, while 15 percent project a decrease and 19 percent no change. That puts the seasonally adjusted outlook index at 73.2, down from 75.2 in February. A year ago March, the outlook index stood at 76.9.