DALLAS, April 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's California Economic Activity Index was flat for the seventh straight month in February, at a level of 99. February's reading is 36 percent, or 26 points, above the index cyclical low of 73. Year-to-date the index is even with the average for all of 2011.
"The economic recovery of California has stalled as shown by another flat month for our California Economic Activity Index. Silicon Valley remains vibrant in an otherwise lackluster state economy. However, the drag from a still-depressed housing sector is a dominant and smothering economic factor for much of the rest of the state," said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. "State tax revenues are below forecasts and this is increasing stress on state finances. Expected cuts in federal defense spending will also weigh on the state on the years ahead. Slower growth in Asia is yet another risk factor that may weigh disproportionately heavy on the California economy."
The California Economic Activity Index consists of eight variables, as follows: nonfarm payrolls, exports, sales tax revenues, hotel occupancy rates, continuing claims for unemployment insurance, building permits, Baker Hughes rotary rig count and the Silicon Valley 150 Index (SV150). 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, with 105 banking centers in the key California markets of San Francisco and the East Bay, San Jose, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Fresno, Sacramento, Santa Cruz/Monterey, and the Inland Empire, is a subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA). Comerica is a financial services company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and strategically aligned into three major business segments: the Business Bank, the Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. Comerica focuses on relationships and helping businesses and people be successful.