comerica

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Holiday shoppers are feeling better about the U.S. and Michigan economies.

Economists credit holiday shoppers having a few extra dollars in their pockets this season.

Robert Dye is the chief economist for Comerica Bank. Dye points to falling gasoline prices and an improving job forecast as just a couple of factors helping boost consumer confidence over the holidays.

“I do expect the holiday shopping season to reflect a more secure, a more confident, and a more employed U.S. consumer,” says Dye.

But there is a dark cloud on the horizon: Inflation.

Google Maps / YouTube

An ad for the new Google Maps app gives some love to the Motor City.


Comerica Park, L.J.’s Lounge in Corktown, Lafayette Coney Island, and even the People Mover make appearances in the new ad, released by Google today.Of course, "Detroit Rock City," Kiss's homage to Motown, serves as the commercial's soundtrack. 


Check out the ad here:

- Melanie Kruvelis, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Comerica Bank

A new report claims Michigan’s economic recovery is starting to “broaden” beyond the state’s manufacturing base.

Comerica Bank’s “Michigan Economic Activity Index” follows: non-farm payrolls, exports, sales tax revenues, building permits and other indicators of the state’s economic direction.

And according to those measures, Michigan’s economic activity is at a level not seen since 2002.

Robert Dye is Comerica Bank’s Chief Economist. He says its good news.  But there are other issues to watch closely. 

The Ambassador Bridge
user Mikerussel / Wikimedia Commons

Detroit police say they received another bomb threat on the Ambassador Bridge on Wednesday evening. This time, authorities kept the busy international crossing open while they investigated the call.

Police said the call came about 5:15 p.m, and the site was "officially cleared" for safety at 7 p.m.

This latest bomb threat is the second called on the bridge this week, and it marks the third recent bomb threat on transportation links between the United States and Canada.

On July 12, someone called in a similar threat on the Detroit-Windsor tunnel. 

The previous two calls resulted in several-hour shutdowns of the Ambassador Bridge and Detroit-Windsor tunnel, which allowed police to search the area.  No bombs were found during either search.

After receiving the latest threat to the Ambassador Bridge on Wednesday, Sgt. Eren Stephens says, police let traffic continue, reports the AP.

A statement from police says "preliminary Intelligence" indicates that Wednesday's caller "may have made hoax bomb threats in the past."

Authorities let Comerica Park remain open Tuesday despite another bomb threat during a Detroit Tigers game.

The Detroit News also reported that a bomb squad responded to a report of a suspicious package found at Cobo Center last Monday.

Although the bomb-related threats occurred over a short time period, it remains unclear if the calls are made by the same people or person, reported the Wall Street Journal:

Andrew Arena, the former head of the Detroit FBI office who now is executive director of the Detroit Crime Commission, said bomb-threat hoaxes often come in bunches. "Is it one person or a copycat? A lot of times somebody does this and then copycat people jump on board," he said. "It's certainly a stress on law enforcement and everybody who has to respond to this stuff."

-Elaine Ezekiel, Michigan Radio Newsroom

(Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

A Comerica Bank economist says Michigan's economy is making a comeback.   But clouds could be on the horizon.

Michigan’s economy will continue to stabilize in 2012.

That’s the prediction of Comerica Bank’s chief economist Robert Dye. Dye expects Michigan’s auto and furniture industries will continue to show some growth, but he expects economic growth will be uneven in Michigan.  

“I would say that central, west Michigan…the Kalamazoo, Lansing, Grand Rapids…Ann Arbor…will probably show a little bit stronger gains than…southeast Michigan," said Dye.  

Dye said Michigan’s economic picture in 2012 will be heavily dependent on what happens in Europe and Asia. 

Kevin Ward / Flickr

Someone has stolen the bronze glasses off of the Ernie Harwell statue inside Comerica Park. Officials from the Detroit Tigers noticed the missing glasses last July.

Neal Rubin, columnist for the Detroit News, writes "if you wouldn't use a crowbar on Ernie Harwell's face, you shouldn't use one on his statue, either.":

Someone pried the glasses from his sculpture at Comerica Park, a theft both brazen and bronzen.

A new pair should be welded into place by Thursday, when the Detroit Tigers play Baltimore in the opener of a seven-game home stand, but please:

Can't we keep our hands and levers to ourselves?

Given his status as both an idol and an artwork, you'd think Harwell would be immune to vandalism.

Artist Omri Amrany says the new glasses will be attached "as strongly as possible."

Rubin writes that Amrany "once had to replace bronze broadcaster Harry Caray's stolen microphone in Chicago."

A Comerica Bank economist says rising gasoline prices shouldn’t hurt Michigan’s economic progress…too much. Unrest in the Middle East is forcing global crude oil prices to rise, which is pushing up gas prices in Michigan and elsewhere.    

Michigan’s economy stumbled in October. 

Comerica Bank’s monthly gauge of Michigan’s economic activity shows a slight dip in October.   The state’s economy spiked up in September. 

Comerica Bank chief economist Dana Johnson says Michigan’s economy has essentially been flat for the past four months.  Johnson says:

 As has been the case in the national economy over the second half of the year, growth in Michigan has been sluggish and uneven. Looking ahead, the Michigan economy is poised to make modest gains in coming months, against a background of gradually accelerating national growth.

The Michigan Economic Activity Index weighs nine, seasonally-adjusted indicators of real economic activity.

These indicators reflect activity in the construction, manufacturing and service sectors as well as job growth and consumer outlays.