DALLAS, Jan. 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's California Economic Activity Index grew by 0.9 percentage points in November to a level of 126.3. November's reading is 42 points, or 50 percent, above the index cyclical low of 84.1. The index averaged 119.8 points for all of 2015, six and two-fifths points above the average for all of 2014. October's index reading was 125.5.
"Our California Economic Activity Index was up again in November, its 10th consecutive monthly increase. Gains were broad-based. Six out of eight index components were positive, including nonfarm employment, unemployment insurance claims (inverted), defense spending, home prices, hotel occupancy and technology stock prices. Housing starts eased for the month, as did state exports. Job growth in the state has been faster than the national average, with November employment up 2.3 percent over the previous 12 months. Steady job creation brought the state unemployment rate down to 5.3 percent in November, still above the U.S. average of 4.6 percent for the month. Even though the state's unemployment rate remains above the U.S. average, labor market conditions are getting tight, putting upward pressure on wages. Wage pressure is also being stoked by the January 1st increase in the state's minimum wage to $10.50 per hour," said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. "Northern California real estate markets cooled in the second half of 2016, but San Francisco home prices were still up 5.3 percent in November, compared with a year earlier."
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 locations 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 Bank