EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Retail sales are on the rise in the Great Lakes State.

According to the Michigan Retailers Association, the September Retail Index survey came in at 61.5.

Andrea Bitely with the MRA said that’s a significant increase from Aug. which was recorded at 49.3.

The group uses a 100-point index to measure the state’s overall retail industry.

“Index values over 50 mean we have a positive activity in our economy, the higher the number the better,” Bitely said. “Index retails below 50 mean we’re running into a bit of trouble.”

Despite low numbers, MRA officials say this holiday season is a saving grace.

“Previously, in our August report, we saw sales not bottom out, but we saw sales lower. And now as we get closer to the holiday season, we’re seeing sales start to go up again,” Bitely said.

Though shoppers started their holiday shopping earlier, a sharp decline is right around the corner.

“Retailers are predicting their sales to continue to rise through December, but then, January and February there’s not as much of a buying push,” Bitely said.