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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: 03/18/15

Michigan Retail Index

February Cold Hurts Michigan Retail Sales

Michigan retailers’ sales fell along with the temperatures during February, according to the Michigan Retail Index, a joint project of Michigan Retailers Association (MRA) and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

“Last month was one of the coldest Februarys on record in Michigan and the result was a significant decrease in sales,” said James P. Hallan, MRA president and CEO. “The good news,” he added, “is that retailers expect a strong spring as consumers shake off another harsh winter.”

The February monthly survey of MRA members showed 31 percent of retailers increased sales over the same month last year, while 52 percent recorded declines and 17 percent reported no change. The results create a seasonally adjusted performance index of 41.7, down from 60.0 in January and 66.5 in December. A year ago February the performance index stood at 49.0.

Looking forward, 75 percent of retailers expect sales during March–May to increase over the same period last year, while 9 percent project a decrease and 16 percent no change. That puts the seasonally adjusted outlook index at 78.5, up from 76.2 in January and 68.0 in December. A year ago February the outlook index stood at 61.7.