Contact Us

Recession Predicted for Grand Rapids in 2 – 3 Years, Slow Growth in 2017

US Economy Adds Jobs, While Unemployment Rate Rises To 9.9 Percent
Win McNamee, Getty Images

Grand Valley State University economist Paul Isely is predicting slow steady growth for the greater Grand Rapids economy in 2017. He also expects the next recession to hit West Michigan in two to three years.

Isely revealed his predictions for West Michigan’s economy this morning at the 2017 Colliers Annual West Michigan Economic and Commercial Real Estate Forecast event held at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids.

His predictions are supported by a survey of the greater Grand Rapids economy (Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon, and Allegan counties) which was conducted in November and December of 2016.

Isely said, “Employment growth will slow to about 2 percent growth from running at 3, 4 or 5 percent during the last few years. Sales growth will improve to about 3 percent, but business leaders said while they see sales going up this year, they will need fewer workers to handle it.”

A recession is expected in the next two-to-three years as the US economy approaches the potential peak of GDP in the next 18 months. That would indicate the maximum level of output that can be sustained for a long period of time. Historically, that means a recession will follow in two to three years.

Isely said challenges for the greater Grand Rapids economy include:

  • The need for skilled labor.
  • Growth in the auto and furniture industries hitting a plateau.
  • Strong national policy changes expected from the new administration.

Isely added that construction has been strong for West Michigan, but there will be a shift to single-family from multifamily residential in the upcoming years.

Employment is expected to grow by 2.0–2.2% in 2017.

Best of 98.7 WFGR

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Please solve this simple math problem to prove that you are a real person.

Sign up for WFGR VIP quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive WFGR VIP contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.