DALLAS, June 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's Michigan Economic Activity Index declined in March, down 0.7 percentage points to a level of 127.2. March's reading is 53 points, or 72 percent, above the index cyclical low of 74.0. The index averaged 124.3 points for all of 2015, seven points above the index average for 2014. February's index reading was 127.9.
"Our Michigan Economic Activity Index dipped slightly in March and remains range bound since late last year. Jobs are still being added to the Michigan economy, but the state's important manufacturing sector is facing three challenges. First, demand for manufactured goods from the oil and gas industry has collapsed. Second, the relatively strong dollar and tepid global demand are headwinds for export oriented manufacturing. Third, the auto sector increasingly looks like it is at the top of its cycle and will not significantly increase production from here," said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. "Supporting the Michigan Index in March were payroll employment, house prices, auto production and sales tax receipts. Drags in the index in March came from exports, initial claims for unemployment insurance (inverted), housing starts and hotel occupancy."
The Michigan Economic Activity Index consists of eight variables, as follows: nonfarm payrolls, exports, hotel occupancy rates, continuing claims for unemployment insurance, housing starts, sales tax revenues, home prices, and auto production. All data are seasonally adjusted, 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, with 213 banking centers in Michigan, is a subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA), a financial services company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and 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 Michigan and Texas, Comerica Bank locations can be found in Arizona, California, and Florida, with select businesses operating in several other states, as well as in Canada and Mexico.
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SOURCE Comerica Bank