California Economy Unchanged in January, Reports Comerica Bank's California Economic Activity Index

Mar 29, 2012, 12:00 ET from Comerica Incorporated

DALLAS, March 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's California Economic Activity Index held flat for the sixth straight month in January, at a level of 99.  January's reading is 36 percent, or 26 points, above the index cyclical low of 73.  The index is even with the average for all of 2011 in the first month of the year.


"The economy of California remains hostage to a depressed housing market as shown by another flat month for our California Economic Activity Index. Some parts of the California economy are vibrant, notably the high-tech industries of Silicon Valley. However, the drag from a still-depressed housing sector is a dominant and smothering economic factor for much of the state," said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. "Also, the state's large government sector remains challenged by weaker than expected state tax revenues and expected cuts in federal defense spending. Slower growth in Asia through 2012 is another drag that will keep California's economic growth in check through the first half of the year."

As of this release, the California Economic Activity Index has been reconfigured to more accurately reflect inflection points in the business cycle.  The revised California 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.

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SOURCE Comerica Incorporated