West Michigan economy forecast looks good for 2016

Posted at 12:44 PM, Dec 10, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-10 16:49:53-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A local economist gave a rosy outlook for West Michigan for 2016.

George Erickcek of the Upjohn Institute presented the annual economic forecast Thursday morning at the J.W. Marriott hotel in downtown Grand Rapids.  The Right Place, Inc. also shared the year-in-review for the 2015.

Erickcek said in his presentation that it is hard to find a reason for a recession in 2016 and the economy is unlikely to turn negative in the coming year. He did say the economy could slow due to a sluggish international market, but that the Grand Rapids market should continue to outperform the nation in "core" industries and in many other similar sized markets.

He says that the key to keeping the economy moving is keeping demand up.  He said that expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit and spending on infrastructure, like roads, alternative energy, and public transportation is key.

The Right Place reported that in 2015, they completed 16 economic development projects in the region, resulting in 1,327 new and retained jobs.