DALLAS, June 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's Arizona Economic Activity Index rose roughly one point in March, to a level of 84.3. The March reading is 13 points, or 19 percent, above the index cyclical low of 71.0. Year-to-date the index has averaged 83 points, five points above the average for all of 2011.
"The Arizona economy continues to show evidence of nascent improvement. The state is pulling out of the economic stagnation that has plagued it since the end of the Great Recession in 2009. There remains a long way to go before we can say that the state has fully recovered from the recession, but measurable progress has been made," said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. "A key reason for the hard slide in the Arizona economy, and for the only-limited recovery to date, is the housing market in Maricopa County. Fortunately, house prices in Phoenix are firming up after a long slide that deeply hurt the regional economy. I expect to see moderate gains to the Arizona economy for the remainder of the year."
The Arizona 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 the Case-Shiller home price index. 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 operates 18 full-service banking centers throughout the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. In addition to Arizona, Comerica locations can be found in its headquarters state of Texas, as well as in 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