With the state experiencing an extraordinarily robust unemployment rate of 3.9 percent, more than 80 percent of Michigan’s largest companies forecast their financial condition will stay the same or increase in the next six to 12 months.

The survey conducted by Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM) during the waning days of the fourth quarter of 2018 found that about 70 percent of CEOs expect their firm’s employment levels to rise or remain the same.

Nearly 90 percent of the CEOs said they expect capital investments in machinery, equipment and structures to improve or remain the same in 2019.

“The survey results continue to reinforce what has been a trend since Michigan’s business climate began to improve over the past eight years. Michigan business leaders find the state a more attractive place to invest than the nation as a whole,” said Doug Rothwell, BLM president and CEO.

However, beyond their individual expectations, the surveyed companies have weaker outlooks overall for the Michigan economy and the national economy. Given the volatility in many economic sectors, about 90 percent of these industry leaders see mixed results over the next six to 12 months (see economic forecast graphs below). These numbers could reflect a long-term downtrend in employment and investment.

“The economic forecast reflects considerable uncertainty in the marketplace despite strong current economic conditions,” Rothwell said. “These include rising interest rates, rising commodity prices, slower growth overseas and continuing trade policy disputes (regarding tariffs).”