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Michiganders' buying power to remain flat through 2024

Lester Graham
Michigan Radio
Michigan workers won't see gains in per capita purchasing power until 2024 or later according to a report from University of Michigan economists. Photo depicts the interior of the Michigan capitol dome.

All the data are not in for 2022, but it appears any gains in wages were eaten up by inflation.

“We expect that, when it’s all said and done, basically personal income in Michigan will have been about flat because we didn’t have any of the federal stimulus in 2022. But, of course, you’ve got to contrast that with the fast inflation,” said Gabriel Ehrlich, Director of the Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics at the University of Michigan.

What that means is that on average, Michigan workers lost buying power.

Economists forecast Michigan’s economy is strong enough to manage an expected mild recession on the horizon. The state likely won’t be rocked by a recession like it has been by past economic recessions. The Great Recession kept the Michigan economy down for about ten years. It’s often called the lost decade.

Although Michigan is expected to weather the looming recession, disposable income per capita will remain flat as it has since 2019. (See highlights of the report here.)

“So even though, we’re relatively optimistic about Michigan’s economy, relative to the national recession that we’re forecasting, we expect living standards to be basically flat for five years,” Ehrlich said.

The economy is expected to pull out of the recession in 2024. The economists forecast that’s likely the soonest Michigan workers can hope to see their buying power begin to increase.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Radio from 1998-2010.
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