DALLAS, Oct. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's California Economic Activity Index increased in August to a level of 95.4. August's reading is 5 points, or 6 percent, above the cyclical low. The index averaged 124.4 points in 2019, 0.5 points above the average for all of 2018. July's index reading was 92.8.
Our California Economic Activity Index rose again in August, up now for the second consecutive month. Six of the eight components improved for the month including nonfarm employment, housing starts, house prices, state total trade, the Dow Jones Technology Index and hotel occupancy. Unemployment insurance claims (inverted) and industrial electricity demand were negative for the month. Our California Index is moving away from the spring downturn and we are now seeing the green shoots of an economic recovery. The state's labor market continues to see slow, yet steady, improvements. As of September, California recovered 38 percent of the net jobs lost this spring, still well below the overall U.S. recovery rate of 52 percent. Single-family housing activity is a bright spot for the state economy. California existing single-family home sales rose for four consecutive months and were up 21.2 percent year-over-year in September, according to the California Association of Realtors. Historically low mortgage rates helped boost the demand for single-family structures, pushing house prices higher across the state's major metropolitan areas. Other sectors such as entertainment, food services and tourism related industries will continue to face headwinds this fall. California's high unemployment rate and the end of enhanced unemployment benefits are limiting factors for household spending. Also, the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the U.S. will weigh on domestic travel through the new year.
The California Economic Activity Index consists of eight variables, as follows: nonfarm payroll employment, continuing claims for unemployment insurance, housing starts, house price index, industrial electricity sales, total trade, technology stock index and hotel occupancy. All data are seasonally adjusted. Nominal values have been converted to constant dollar values. Index levels are expressed in terms of three-month moving averages.
Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA) is a financial services company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and strategically aligned by three business segments: The Commercial Bank, The Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. Comerica focuses on relationships, and helping people and businesses be successful. In addition to 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. Comerica reported total assets of $83.6 billion at Sept. 30, 2020.
SOURCE Comerica Bank