DALLAS, Sept. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's California Economic Activity Index increased in July to a level of 118.3. July's reading is 27.6 percent above the historical low of 92.7 set in June 2020. The index averaged 107.9 points in 2020, 18.9 points below the average for all of 2019. June's index reading was revised to 116.4.
Our California Economic Activity Index improved by 1.6 percent in July, and is now up for the thirteenth consecutive month. In July, six of the sub-indexes increased including nonfarm employment, house prices, industrial electricity demand, hotel occupancy, enplanements and state revenues. Three sub-indexes fell for the month including unemployment insurance claims (inverted), housing starts and state total trade. The California Index continued to see solid gains through July and is expected to gain again in August. The rise in COVID cases this summer was met with broader access to effective vaccines. California new COVID cases peaked at lower levels than the winter wave and have trended lower in September. The expected expansion of vaccine eligibility to younger cohorts over the next few months will help normalize back-to-school and back-to-office heading into early 2022. We could see gyrations in California consumer spending this fall. Federal unemployment benefits are winding down for many and the enhanced weekly subsidy ended in early-September. However, California has also averaged 111,000 net new jobs per month since February. We expect that strong labor demand and rising wages will help offset some of the drag from reduced unemployment benefits. California's recovering tourism sector also saw more positive news with the announcement that international air travel to the U.S. will resume in November for fully vaccinated foreign travelers.
The California Economic Activity Index consists of nine variables, as follows: nonfarm payroll employment, continuing claims for unemployment insurance, housing starts, house price index, industrial electricity sales, total trade, hotel occupancy, enplanements and state revenues. 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 Bank is a subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA), 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 $88.4 billion at June 30, 2021.