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The Michigan Retail Index is a monthly broad-based gauge of key retail activity in Michigan. A new index is released by the Michigan Retailers Association (MRA) on the fourth Wednesday of each month. The index is based on a monthly survey of MRA members. The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago assists in collecting, compiling and interpreting the survey data.

Last Updated: 02/20/15

Michigan Retail Index

Michigan Retailers Expect Sales Growth This Year

Seventy-nine percent of Michigan retail businesses expect to grow their sales this year, with the increases averaging 2.4 percent, according to the Michigan Retail Index, a joint project of Michigan Retailers Association (MRA) and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

“Retailers are upbeat about this year,” said James P. Hallan, MRA president and chief executive officer. “They expect stronger sales because they see the state’s economy continuing to improve and add jobs.”

The January monthly survey of MRA members showed 49 percent of retailers increased sales over the same month last year, while 33 percent recorded declines and 18 percent reported no change. The results create a seasonally adjusted performance index of 60.0, down from 66.5 in December. A year ago January the performance index stood at 42.5.

The 100-point Index gauges the performance of the state’s overall retail industry, based on monthly surveys conducted by MRA and the Federal Reserve. Index values above 50 generally indicate positive activity; the higher the number, the stronger the activity.

Looking forward, 67 percent of retailers expect sales during February–April to increase over the same period last year, while 6 percent project a decrease and 27 percent no change. That puts the seasonally adjusted outlook index at 76.2, up from 68.0 in December. A year ago January the outlook index stood at 58.5.