DALLAS, July 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's Texas Economic Activity Index improved in April, up 0.2 percentage points to a level of 92.1. April's reading is 19 points, or 27 percent, above the index cyclical low of 72.8. The index averaged 97.5 points for all of 2015, seven and three-fifths points below the average for full-year 2014. March's index reading was 91.9.
"Our Texas Economic Activity Index increased slightly in April, marking the first increase since September 2015. We view this as a positive sign for the Texas economy which is still weighed down by the beleaguered energy sector. With oil prices firming near $50 per barrel after bottoming out in February, we are seeing the first signs of stability in the rig count. The last four weekly rig count totals for Texas have increased modestly after the count bottomed out for the week ending May 20th at just 173 active rigs. Despite the positive recent news from the rig count, the overall Texas economy is still underperforming. Payroll job growth appears to be trending down with only 11,900 jobs added in April and 200 jobs added statewide in May," said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. "Even with stronger oil prices, downward momentum in the Texas economy may take some months to dissipate."
The Texas 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 the 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 a subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA), the largest U.S. commercial bank 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 131 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.
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SOURCE Comerica Bank