Michigan retailers look to holiday season to revive a slow October

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LANSING (WLNS) — Retailers took a hit this October compared to 2018.

The October Retail Index showed a 19-point decrease from October 2018 to October 2019.

That’s due in part to a slowing economy, retailers report.

“Although the October survey numbers are behind the national trend, shoppers are in a good place to spend this holiday season,” said William J. Hallan, MRA President and CEO. “Michigan’s unemployment rate is only 4.1% – a good sign that people will feel free to spend for the holidays.”

The index is measured out of 100 points and provides an outlook of the state’s overall retail industry health. Values greater than 50 suggest positive activity.

The report suggests that the reason for a slowed economy in the past year was due in part to the changes in weather, including the polar vortex and a rainy June. Additionally, the six-week General Motors strike put a halt on consumer buying.

Retail activity for Michiganders could look more hopeful in the next few weeks and about 47 percent of them expect increased sales through January.

Additionally, holiday shoppers are anticipated to spend 4 percent more this year. The annual survey says shoppers will spend an average of $1,047.83 this year, up from 2018’s $1,007.24.

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