GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A new economic forecast expects growth to slow in West Michigan this year, but the Grand Rapids area will still grow at twice the rate of the national economy.

The Grand Rapids Economic Forecast 2023 by Grand Valley State University’s Seidman College was released and presented Wednesday at the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting.

The greater Grand Rapids economy, which includes Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon, and Allegan counties, is expected to slow this year as interest rates and inflation could affect some sectors more than others, according to the report.

“What we’re seeing right now is that even though we’re going to see a bit of a slowdown as the year goes along in the U.S., right now West Michigan looks like it will outperform that and we may not even feel that in our area,” Seidman Associate Dean Paul Isely said. “We could see those prices, those price increases start to roll away, but they’re not going to go backwards. We’re not going to see reductions in price very much. But you’re also going to start to feel a better feeling about mid-year to pre-pandemic because we’re going to be comparing ourselves against those very pricey times right after the Ukrainian invasion.”

The forecast predicts a mild recession in the second half of the year. However, compared to the rest of the nation, the report finds that West Michigan is expected to fare better because the region’s main industries and housing markets are in a stronger position than other parts of the country.