Retail association index shows improvement

EAST LANSING, MI – The health of retail businesses in Michigan continues to be weak but is slowly gaining strength.

The Michigan Retailers Association says July was the best month for state retailers in a year. Overall, businesses with sales declines still outnumber those with increasing sales. But for the third straight month, the gap has narrowed.

James Hallan is the association's President and CEO.

"Only 37% of retailers are showing an increase of sales over last year, but that is an uptick," he says. "So at this stage of the game, we'll take whatever we can get and we're happy to get some positive news."

The survey also shows a growing percentage of retailers--45%--expect higher sales in the coming quarter.