On This Page

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: 09/16/15

Michigan Retail Index

Michigan Retailers' Fall Forecasts Stay Strong Despite August Sales Dip

Michigan retailers’ sales forecasts remain strong for fall despite a drop in August sales, according to the latest Michigan Retail Index, a joint project of Michigan Retailers Association (MRA) and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. 

“The consensus is that the late dates for Labor Day and the reopening of schools ended up pushing some normal August spending into September,”  said James P. Hallan, MRA president and chief executive officer.

The August survey of MRA members showed 37 percent of retailers increased sales over the same month last year, while 42 percent recorded declines and 21 percent reported no change. The results create a seasonally adjusted performance index of 43.9, down from 65.3 in July. A year ago August the performance index stood at 46.

Looking forward, 59 percent of retailers expect sales during September–November to increase over the same period last year, while 22 percent project a decrease and 19 percent no change. That puts the seasonally adjusted outlook index at 68.0, down slightly from 69.7 in July. A year ago August the outlook index stood at 70.6.