January 18, 2017
8:56 am

MI Retailers Forecast Good Start to 2017

The final numbers aren't in yet for the Michigan retail holiday shopping season, but if the final survey of the year is accurate, not only was the Christmas season a strong one, the forecast for the first quarter of 2017 is rock solid, ready to carry the momentum into the New Year.

In the final forecast of the year, Michigan retailers were not only optimistic about the home stretch of holiday shopping but they were equally pumped about the beginning of 2017 as well. That's the essence of the latest Michigan Retail Index, a joint project of the Michigan Retailers Association (MRA) and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
The three-month outlook component of the Index reached 83.5 (out of 100) in November, to register the highest monthly figure in 12 years.

James Hallan is President & CEO of the MRA. He says, “The Index shows the season got off to a good start in November and it appears to have remained positive going into the final days before Christmas.” He adds, “Retailers believe that a positive holiday season will provide momentum going into the new year.”
Going into the season, 63-percent of MRA members projected their sales would increase over last year’s, while only 9-percent expected them to slip. Their forecasts averaged +2.1-percent, up slightly over last year’s projection of +2.0-percent.
The November Michigan Retail Index survey found 37-percent of Michigan retailers increased sales over the same month last year, while 36-percent recorded declines and 27 percent reported no change. The results create a seasonally adjusted performance index of 55.7, up from 49.8 in October. A year ago November the performance index stood at 50.2.
The 100-point index gauges the performance of the state’s overall retail industry, based on monthly surveys conducted by the MRA and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Detroit branch. Index values above 50 generally indicate positive activity; the higher the number, the stronger the activity.
Looking forward, 52-percent of retailers expect sales during December–February to increase over the same period last year, while 18-percent project a decrease and 30-percent no change. That puts the seasonally adjusted outlook index at 83.5, up from 72.6 in October. A year ago November, the outlook index stood at 62.6. The bullish forecast bodes well for Michigan retailers headed into the wintry mix of January, February and March.
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Topics : Business_Finance
Location : DetroitMichigan
People : James Hallan
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