SOURCE: Michigan Retailers Association

Michigan Retailers Association

February 18, 2015 15:49 ET

Michigan Retailers Association Reports Michigan Retailers Expect Sales Growth This Year

LANSING, MI--(Marketwired - Feb 18, 2015) - Seventy-nine percent of Michigan retail businesses expect to grow their sales this year, with the increases averaging 2.4 percent, according to the Michigan Retail Index, a joint project of Michigan Retailers Association (MRA) and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

"Retailers are upbeat about this year," said James P. Hallan, MRA president and CEO. "They expect stronger sales because they see the state's economy continuing to improve and add jobs."

Last year at this time, 58 percent of retailers were projecting 2014 sales growth averaging 1.4 percent. At year's end, 57 percent reported actual gains averaging 1 percent.

The 2015 projections follow a strong December and weaker, but still positive, January.

The January monthly survey of MRA members showed 49 percent of retailers increased sales over the same month last year, while 33 percent recorded declines and 18 percent reported no change. The results create a seasonally adjusted performance index of 60.0, down from 66.5 in December. A year ago January the performance index stood at 42.5.

The 100-point index gauges the performance of the state's overall retail industry, based on monthly surveys conducted by MRA and the Federal Reserve. Index values above 50 generally indicate positive activity; the higher the number, the stronger the activity.

Looking forward, 67 percent of retailers expect sales during February-April to increase over the same period last year, while 6 percent project a decrease and 27 percent no change. That puts the seasonally adjusted outlook index at 76.2, up from 68.0 in December. A year ago January the outlook index stood at 58.5.

Note: William Strauss, senior economist and economic advisor with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, can be reached at 312.322.8151.

Michigan Retail Index
January 2015 results
Index figures dating to July 1994 are available at http://www.retailers.com/mra/news/michigan-retail-index.html

January Performance 
Retailers reporting increased, decreased or unchanged sales, inventory, prices, promotions and hiring compared to the same month a year ago
(numbers in parentheses indicate December results)

           
  % Increased %Decreased % No Change Index* Responses
Sales 49 (54) 33 (29) 18 (17) 60.0 (66.5) 85 (79)
Inventory 16 (25) 38 (42) 46 (33) 45.5 (44.4) 84 (80)
Prices 7 ( 6) 10 (10) 83 (84) 51.8 (49.6) 84 (80)
Promotions 22 (36) 8 (10) 70 (54) 60.6 (61.3) 83 (80)
Hiring 11 (19) 13 (13) 76 (68) 50.1 (55.9) 83 (79)
           

Outlook for Next 3 Months
Retailers expecting increased, decreased or unchanged sales, inventory, prices, promotions and hiring compared to the same period a year ago
(numbers in parentheses indicate December results)

           
  % Increased % Decreased % No Change Index* Responses
Sales 67 (49) 6 (22) 27 (29) 76.2 (68.0) 83 (80)
Inventory 42 (26) 19 (28) 39 (46) 60.4 (56.9) 84 (80)
Prices 29 (25) 7 (10) 64 (65) 61.5 (56.7) 85 (79)
Promotions 48 (36) 2 ( 8) 50 (56) 72.6 (66.6) 85 (78)
Hiring 22 (11) 8 (13) 70 (76) 55.9 (50.9) 84 (79)
           

January Sales Performance & Outlook for Next 3 Months, by Region
(the first number indicates sales performance for the month; the number in parentheses indicates outlook for the next three months)

       
  % Increased % Decreased % No Change
North 53 (63) 26 ( 5) 21 (32)
West 40 (50) 40 (10) 20 (40)
Central 67 (73) 25 ( 0) 8 (27)
East 50 (67) 17 ( 0) 33 (33)
Southeast 44 (79) 44 ( 8) 12 (13)
       

Question of the Month
How much do you expect your 2015 sales to increase or decrease over last year?

                     
Increase > 5%   Increase 0-5%   No Change   Decrease 0-5%   Decrease > 5%   Average
30%    49%   11%    8%   2%   +2.4%
                     

*Seasonally adjusted diffusion index. A diffusion index, which is the sum of the percent of respondents indicating increase and half the percent indicating no change, is calculated and then seasonally adjusted using the U.S. Census Bureau's X-11 Seasonal Adjustment procedure. Index values above 50 generally indicate an increase in activity, while values below 50 indicate a decrease.

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