DALLAS, April 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's California Economic Activity Index held flat in February, maintaining a level of 119.4. February's reading is 36 points, or 42 percent, above the index cyclical low of 83.8. The index averaged 113.7 points for all of 2014, seven and one-half points above the average for all of 2013. January's index reading was 119.4.
"Our California Economic Activity Index was unchanged in February. State exports have been a drag on the index for four consecutive months as a labor dispute slowed port activity. While the dockworkers' dispute has been resolved, truckers who service the ports have recently authorized a strike, threatening to extend shipping delays. Still, job growth in California has been steady, and our California Index shows only one decline in the last 27 months," said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. "The chronic water shortage for much of the state is a potentially limiting factor for business activity. Agricultural businesses are making adjustments, but non-agricultural industries are also facing limits as the state grapples with a call by Governor Brown for a 25 percent reduction in water usage."
The California Economic Activity Index consists of eight variables, as follows: nonfarm payrolls, exports, hotel occupancy rates, continuing claims for unemployment insurance, housing starts, national defense spending, home prices, and the NASDAQ-100-Technology Sector Index (NDXT). 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 104 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. To find Comerica on Facebook, please visit www.facebook.com/ComericaCares.