Last year, economists talked about the Great Renaissance.

This year’s innovation has become a buzzword that prompted a conversation on Friday in the town of Palazzo Grande in the town of Shelby, which took place in Macomb County’s well-attended economic forecast.

“We’re back,” said Vicki Ravinski, director Macomb County Planning and Economic Development (MCPED) and one of several participants in the discussion weighing the county’s economic forecast. “But now we’re innovating for the future and focusing on ideas that expand that.”

Also part of the panel for the annual economic forecast and presentation of the overview was Eric Dietz, president of the Southeast Michigan region of Huntington Banks, who expanded his activities in the county to include 40 affiliates.

“I feel very good working here,” said Dietz, who began with a conversation about the country’s GDP growth (gross domestic product), which is a monetary measure of the market value of all final goods and services produced over a period of time. After the shutdown at the start of the pandemic, economists saw that GDP grew by 5.7% in 2021. “Again, there was nowhere to go but growth,” Dietz said. “It has grown by 3.5% this year, and although it seems like a small increase, the fact that it is still growing is good.

Consumer and retail spending also rose 4.9%.

Among the problem areas these are stocks, commodities and home sales. Dietz said that while new houses are being built, there is still a shortage and this keeps prices high.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is unlikely to hinder recovery, but it is another wrinkle that has affected gas prices and financial markets around the world, including companies in Michigan that have interests in Europe. And when gas prices are high, people don’t drive, slowing down the resumption of tourism and entertainment, and they don’t have the extra money to spend on things that aren’t on their regular budget.

From a future perspective, production still plays a key role in the county’s economic future.

That is, provided that his small business is capable of making the transition necessary for an innovation revolution.

Thomas Alongi, a certified accountant with more than 20 years of experience and a partner / global leader in the automotive industry at UHY Advisors in Sterling Heights, reiterated that Macomb County must be prepared for the electric vehicle industry.

Including the transition from suppliers of internal combustion engines to electric motors.

Macomb County Governor Mark Hackel said it was one of his problems.

“We can’t tell them what to do, but we are trying to give them the information they need for these transitions,” he said.

Another problem is the aging of the county’s workforce.

There are currently 281,908 residents over the age of 55 and 172,900 between the ages of 25 and 39. In the next 10-20 years, if the county does not find ways to retain its young workforce here and attract new talent, there will be a huge amount of gap created by the wave of retiring baby boomers.

“Attracting and retaining a workforce is key,” Rovinsky said, along with additional educational programs that provide new opportunities for workers who can move from existing jobs such as Future war veterans and Michigan reconnection program.

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