(WLNS) – There’s another indicator that Michigan’s economy is pulling out of the doldrums. According to the Michigan Retail Index seventy-nine percent of Michigan retail businesses expect to grow their sales this year, with the increases averaging 2.4 percent.
That’s a significant jump from last year’s projections. Fifty-eight percent of the retailers surveyed last year estimated sales growth of 1.4 percent. At the end of the year 57 percent of the retailers reported actual gains averaging one percent.
“Retailers are upbeat about this year,” said James P. Hallan, MRA president and CEO. “They expect stronger sales because they see the state’s economy continuing to improve and add jobs.”
Looking forward, 67 percent of retailers expect sales during February–April to increase over the same period last year, while 6 percent project a decrease and 27 percent no change. That puts the seasonally adjusted outlook index at 76.2, up from 68.0 in December. A year ago January the outlook index stood at 58.5.