Michigan Moves up to 30th from 39th in Third Annual Michigan Chamber Foundation Study on Economic Competitiveness

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Northwood University economists led study efforts, examining competitiveness across all 50 states, with particular focus on Michigan and Great Lakes region.

The Michigan economy has recovered on a more broad-based level than many suspect.

The Michigan Chamber Foundation and research partner, Northwood University in Midland, Michigan, today are formally releasing the results of the 2014 Economic Competiveness Study. This release marks the third year of an exhaustive study into all aspects of Michigan’s economy and how the state fares against the other 49 states.

In the most recent study, Michigan has climbed from #39 on Northwood University’s proprietary State Competitiveness Index to #30 this year. When results of the inaugural study were released in 2012, Michigan ranked 47th.

As data from the report reveals, the overall U.S. economy has not performed as well as its historical norm, especially over the past three years since the study began. However, statistics also show that Michigan remains on a growth trajectory. The state’s GDP grew at a 2 percent rate in 2013, ranking it as the 20th most rapidly growing state economy in the United States at two percentage points above the U.S. national economy.

“The Michigan Chamber Foundation’s Economic Competitiveness Study offers the most detailed and honest assessment of the state’s economy,” notes economist and study researcher Timothy G. Nash, vice president of Strategic and Corporate Alliances and the Fry Endowed Chair in Economics at Northwood University. “The largest single factor influencing the Michigan economy was a stronger general macroeconomic environment in the state relative to the other 49 states.”

The study also reveals that Michigan is the top-performing Great Lakes region state, growing at an average rate of 2.56 percent over the last three years. This rate is better than the Great Lakes region’s average of 2.07 percent and also the U.S. average of 1.97 percent. Cities included in Great Lakes rankings included Chicago; Cleveland; Columbus, Ohio; Detroit; Grand Rapids and Lansing, Michigan; Indianapolis; and Milwaukee.

“The Michigan economy has recovered on a more broad-based level than many suspect,” notes Bob Thomas, executive director of the Michigan Chamber Foundation. “We are optimistic that Michigan will continue its path of strong recovery and growth in years to come and that its cities, including Grand Rapids, Detroit, and Lansing, continue to lead the way.”

An executive summary of this study is available http://www.michamber.com/foundation/studies.

Northwood University is committed to the most personal attention to prepare students for success in their careers and in their communities; it promotes critical thinking skills, personal effectiveness, and the importance of ethics, individual freedom and responsibility.

Private, nonprofit, and accredited, Northwood University specializes in managerial and entrepreneurial education at two full-service, residential campuses located in southern Florida and mid-Michigan. Adult Degree Programs are available in seven states with many course delivery options including online. The DeVos Graduate School offers accelerated, evening and weekend programming in Michigan, Texas and Florida. The Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise provides system-wide expertise in family enterprise, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and new business development. International education is offered through study abroad and in Program Centers in Switzerland, China (Changchun and Wuxi), Malaysia and Sri Lanka.

The Michigan Chamber Foundation was organized in 1985 as a 501(c)3 charitable foundation to: plan and conduct nonpartisan public education programs; establish and operate a leadership institute to help current and future leaders make a positive impact on Michigan’s future; and conduct nonpartisan research and distribute policy studies on key business climate issues in Michigan.

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