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Economist: Michigan making steady progress in recovery

Comerica Bank
The “Michigan Economic Activity Index” consists of nonfarm payrolls, exports, sales tax revenues, hotel occupancy rates, continuing claims for unemployment insurance, building permits, and motor vehicle production.

Things looked bleak in Michigan in January 2009, when the state’s economic activity index fell to 60 points.

But in January of this year it was up to 98 points.

The index looks at payrolls, exports, sales tax revenues, unemployment claims and other factors.

"We're starting to see some sustainable progress in coming out of the depths of the recession, says Robert Dye, chief economist with Comerica Bank. "And in January, we really see evidence of this resurgence of the auto industry permeating into other parts of the economy."

Dye believes Michigan’s private sector will be strong enough to overcome  higher gas prices and expected cutbacks in federal spending.

"When we look back at 2012 by the end of the year, we'll see that this was the year that the economy really transitioned from a halting or faltering recovery into something we can truly call a self-sustaining economic expansion."