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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: 05/20/15

Michigan Retail Index

Michigan Retailers Remain Upbeat

Michigan retailers’ sales forecasts remain strong for late spring and early summer, a joint project of Michigan Retailers Association (MRA) (MRA) and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

“An improving economy marked by a falling unemployment rate has been boosting retailers’ sales and forecasts,” said James P. Hallan, MRA president and chief executive officer.

“MRA’s statewide Buy Nearby campaign and communities’ shop-local initiatives also appear to be having a positive effect. We believe consumers are becoming more aware of the importance of spending their dollars at stores and websites located in Michigan.”

The April monthly survey of MRA members showed 51 percent of retailers increased sales over the same month last year, while 34 percent recorded declines and 15 percent reported no change. The results create a seasonally adjusted performance index of 57.6, down from 66.8 in March but still above the key 50 mark. A year ago April the performance index stood at 51.1

Looking forward, 67 percent of retailers expect sales during May–July to increase over the same period last year, while 11 percent project a decrease and 22 percent no change. That puts the seasonally adjusted outlook index at 74.7, down from 76.9 in March. A year ago April the outlook index stood at 73.9.