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Business Review Western MI
Business Review Western MI
Economist sees better days ahead
(wgvu) - Economist sees better days ahead

Feb. 14, 2008

By Mark Sanchez

JP Morgan Chase & Co.'s senior economist sees opportunities rising
for Michigan manufacturers out of the economic pain of this decade.

A more favorable dollar and growing foreign markets bode well for the
industrial Midwest in the global economy, said Jim Glassman, managing
director and senior economist with JP Morgan Chase.

While it isn't yet leading to immediate job growth, the new markets
opening up in China, India, Latin America and eastern Europe should
benefit Midwest manufacturers in the years ahead, Glassman said.

Midwest manufacturers will find themselves on the leading edge of
serving emerging global markets, just as it was the first to feel the
pain early this decade when the economy changed, he said.

You've shifted the headwinds to tailwinds. The headwinds are
behind you now, Glassman said. A year from now, you'll look back
and feel Michigan is turning.

The global economy is growing at five percent annually, a rate Glassman
expects to continue. The gains for manufacturers in Michigan that are
able to take advantage of global economic growth could cushion the state
from further losses from the auto industry, he said.

The global economy is seeing the biggest boom we've ever seen.
It's got a lot of momentum, Glassman said in an interview this
week, before an address at the Economic Club of Grand Rapids.

You can't find very many places that are struggling, he said.
Glassman believes recent Federal Reserve action should enable the U.S.
economy to avoid recession.

He and many other economists anticipate the U.S. economy to perform
better in the latter half of 2008.

In Michigan, Glassman's outlook for this year is shaping up as
less negative than 2007. He's still finalizing a state
forecast but says Michigan economically should improve relative to
where it is now.

Data shows Michigan clearly remained in recession in the fourth
quarter of 2007, Comerica Inc. chief economist Dana Johnson wrote in his
latest economic briefing. Since 2001, Michigan has lost 147,000
auto-related jobs including 24,000 in 2007 as the collective
market share of domestic automakers declined 12 percentage points,
Johnson wrote.

Western Michigan, Glassman said, continues to fare better than
southeast Michigan economically.
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