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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: 04/15/15

Michigan Retail Index

Michigan Retail Sales Bounce Back in March

Michigan retailers’ sales rose sharply in March, rebounding from their steep drop in February, according to the Michigan Retail Index, a joint project of Michigan Retailers Association (MRA) (MRA) and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

“Better weather teamed up with continued ‘low’ gasoline prices and lower unemployment to help boost retail sales,” said James P. Hallan, MRA president and chief executive officer.

The March monthly survey of MRA members showed 55 percent of retailers increased sales over the same month last year, while 25 percent recorded declines and 20 percent reported no change. The results create a seasonally adjusted performance index of 66.8, up from 41.7 in February and the highest level since last July. A year ago March the performance index stood at 44.8.

Looking forward, 68 percent of retailers expect sales during April–June to increase over the same period last year, while 9 percent project a decrease and 23 percent no change. That puts the seasonally adjusted outlook index at 76.9, down from 78.5 in February and up from 76.2 in January. A year ago March the outlook index stood at 63.3.