Three stories about the Midwest economy to start your day.
1. Midwest Economy Growing. After two years of economic decline, Michigan’s economy grew faster than the nation as a whole last year. The Detroit Free Fress reports new numbers released by the U.S Bureau of Economic Analysis say the Michigan economy grew at 2.9%, while the U.S economy grew at a rate of 2.6%. The growth was fueled primarily by an increase in manufacturing, with carmakers taking most of the credit. Indiana’s economy also grew, at a rate of 4.6%. Get ready to hear a lot of talk that the recession is officially over, even though with higher than average unemployment, people in the region might not feel that way.
2. Another Borders Bidder? Arizona based private equity firm Najafi Companies is in talks with the Borders Group and may be interested in acquiring the Ann Arbor based book store chain says the Wall St. Journal. Najafi is now competing with another private equity firm, headed by the new owner of the Detroit Pistons, for the stores. Many Borders outlets around the country have closed or are being sold. But the potential investors hope to keep the remaining 200 stores open and make them profitable again.
3.Romney on Campaign Trail. Tim Pawlenty was in Chicago yesterday, Mitt Romney’s in Detroit today. According to the Detroit News, Romney, the former Massachusetts governor whose father George was Michigan’s governor, will be courting political donors today before campaigning tomorrow. The Republican presidential hopeful opposed the federal bailout of the auto industry, something that pundits say may not do him any favors on the campaign trail in Michigan.