Grand Rapids business confidence highest since 2000

8:09 PM, Jan 31, 2014   |    comments
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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- West Michigan business confidence is at its highest level since 2000, according to an annual survey by GVSU economist Paul Isely.

Isely told attendees at the Colliers Annual Economic and Real Estate Forecast that the confidence level of business leaders surveyed is at 71%.

"Firms in west Michigan are more optimistic than they've been at any point since the economy was growing faster than was sustainable in the 1990s. That's good news," Isely told WZZM 13.

Isely's forecast calls for local employment growth of between 2.7 - 3.1% in 2014.

"This is really good news, it says firms here in West Michigan will start to invest, may start to look for more labor, and may be willing to invest in labor in ways they haven't been willing to do recently," he said. In other words, workers could finally see some pay increases.

Isely also said it's much easier to sell a home, especially in areas with desirable school districts and amenities. Those regions are fetching prices back at levels last enjoyed in 2006, he said.

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