GVSU economist predicts slower growth for 2019

Posted at 4:00 AM, Jan 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-31 04:00:21-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – This year is expected to be a profitable year again for West Michigan businesses, but growth in 2019 is expected to be slower than in recent years.

Paul Isely, a Grand Valley State University professor of economics and an associate dean at the Seidman College of Business, is releasing his 2019 predictions and results of his annual survey of the business owners at DeVos Place Thursday morning. Isely took the survey during November and December 2018 in Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon, and Allegan counties.

“We are looking for a slowdown for those supporting the automotive sector, but for the overall economy, the expectation for hiring and sales is positive, and wages will accelerate faster this year,” said Isely in a press release. “We just have a much smaller group of fast-running companies right now.”

Isely also said that growth will be slower in 2019 because trade will be a big issue nationally and globally.

Employment is expected to grow by 1.1 and 1.5 percentage points in 2019, which is consistent to the growth seen in 2018.