Bank releases Crystal Ball report for 2013 local economic future

7&4 News is getting a glimpse into what to expect for our local economy in the new year, after The Bank of Northern Michigan just released it's 2013 Crystal Ball Report for the Grand Traverse Region.

It's a prediction for the future, based off the bank's knowledge from working with hundreds of area businesses.

Vice President of The Bank of Northern Michigan Jeremy Hawke says, "Weâ??re optimistic, with a little bit of caution on some things a head.." That is the overwhelming feeling on our region's economic future, after The Bank of Northern Michigan executives analyzed client interactions, to form a solid business perspective for 2013.

One sector to keep an eye on is manufacturing, especially related to consumer goods. In fact, local automotive and bio-tech manufacturers are projecting a big year.

Hawke explains, "Weâ??ve seen manufacturers we do business with have actually purchased commercial real estate, to expand operations. Also they have purchased heavy equipment machinery, capital outlays, which will ultimately add jobs done the road."

Another promising sector is small and mid size businesses, specially related to agriculture. Hawke says he's seeing a pay-off from people taking risks with start up endeavors, like local wineries.

Hawke says, "Agriculture related expansion weâ??re seeing is really driven by the region we live in, great area for grapes, fruit crops. Thereâ??s also been a big push toward slow food movement, local foods, and people wanting to serve things locally." But to keep the forward momentum strong for these small and midsized businesses, Hawke says assistance must come from Lansing and Washington.

But itâ??s not all positive news, there's one area that continues to cause concern, the leasing real estate sector.

Hawke says they've also seen growth in home construction especially related to the higher-end custom homes. In fact, a lot of local builders are reporting full schedules for 2013 through 2014.