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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: 06/23/16

Michigan Retail Index

Michigan Retailers: Solid May Retail Sales Add to Positive Trend

Overall Michigan retail sales remained strong in May, the fourth consecutive month of positive performance, according to the Michigan Retail Index, a joint project of Michigan Retailers Association (MRA) and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.  

“Michigan’s unemployment rate fell in May. Consumer confidence rose in May. It’s no surprise, then, that shoppers were in a good state of mind and remained willing to make purchases,” said MRA president and chief executive officer, James P. Hallan.

The May Michigan Retail Index survey found 54 percent of Michigan retailers increased sales over the same month last year, while 22 percent recorded declines and 24 percent reported no change. The results create a seasonally adjusted performance index of 65.1, down slightly from the year’s high of 66.0 in April. A year ago May the performance index stood at 47.4.

Looking forward, 67 percent of retailers expect sales during June–August to increase over the same period last year, while 10 percent project a decrease and 23 percent no change. That puts the seasonally adjusted outlook index at 74.6, down from 80.1 in April. A year ago May, the outlook index stood at 73.