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Observations from a Michigan Bank CEO - How Are We Doing?

Posted Date: Wednesday, November 27, 2013

It’s turned out to be a very nice year in Michigan. Here are some of my thoughts on the industry:

  • The automotive industry is on a roll! Edmunds.com is forecasting 16.4M units for 2014 and 15.5M units in 2013. That’s the highest volume since 2006. The automotive industry has such a huge multiplier effect on the Michigan economy that I envision continued growth and economic improvement, for our mutual benefit.

  • Housing seems to be improving. According to Realcomp II, Ltd, the median sale price of a home in the Metro Detroit (4 county region) market is up 48% in the past year. In addition, the growth rate has been consistent for several months, illustrating the strength of the market and the ability for homeowners to both buy and sell their homes. While interest rates have been on the rise, they are still historically low, allowing a homeowner to more easily afford the house of their dreams. County specific increases are: Livingston (15.7%), Macomb (43.8%), Oakland (23%) and Wayne (50.8%). Unit sales are also increasing with a 7.1% increase in the past year.

  • The Detroit-Warren-Livonia MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) had a slight improvement in employment of .5% from August 2012 to 2013. September data will shortly be delivered which hopefully will show continued progress. We continue to have very high unemployment, with the August # showing 9.8%. The only worse areas are parts of California and Massachusetts.

So, a mixed picture develops. My view is that we will continue to see improvement in our regional economy. Not explosive growth, but steady trends upwards. We need to improve our employment picture to really put Michigan back on a strong economic footing. Lotus Bank is adding to its staff regularly, and I hope that you will also put Michiganders back to work!

Best Regards,
Neal

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