Oct 26 - Comerica Bank's Texas Economic Activity Index dipped 0.3 points in August, to a level of 98.7. The August index reading is 27 points, or 38 percent, above the index cyclical low of 71.7. The index has averaged 98 points thus far in 2012, eight points above the index average for all of 2011.
"Our Texas Economic Activity Index has been range bound for the last four months, after climbing strongly in early 2012," said Robert Dye, chief economist at Comerica Bank. "The majority of the components of our index improved in August, including payroll jobs, exports, sales tax revenue, hotel occupancy and residential building permits. However, unemployment insurance claims increased and the drilling rig count decreased, and those two factors were enough to neutralize the gain from the others. The rig count will likely continue to ease through the rest of this year, due to very low natural gas prices."
The Texas Economic Activity Index consists of seven variables, as follows: nonfarm payrolls, exports, sales tax revenues, hotel occupancy rates, continuing claims for unemployment insurance, building permits and Baker Hughes rotary rig count. All data are seasonally adjusted, as necessary, and indexed to a base year of 2008. Nominal values have been converted to constant dollar values. Index levels are expressed in terms of three-month moving averages.
Comerica Bank is the commercial banking subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA), the largest U.S. banking company headquartered in Texas, strategically aligned by three business segments: The Business Bank, The Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. Comerica focuses on relationships, and helping people and businesses be successful. In addition to 139 banking centers in Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Kerrville regions of Texas, Comerica Bank locations can be found in Arizona, California, Florida and Michigan, with select businesses operating in several other states, as well as in Canada and Mexico. To find Comerica on Facebook, please visit www.facebook.com/ComericaCares. Follow Comerica Chief Economist Robert Dye on Twitter at @Comerica_Econ.