DALLAS, Oct. 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's Michigan Economic Activity Index grew in August, increasing 0.3 percentage points to reach a level of 127.4. August's reading is 53 points, or 72 percent, above the index cyclical low of 74.0. The index averaged 117.6 points for all of 2014, three and one-half points above the index average for 2013. July's index reading was 127.2.
"Our Michigan Economic Activity Index increased again in August, its fifth consecutive monthly gain. The U.S. auto industry continues to generate impressive numbers. U.S. auto sales reached a 17.8 million unit rate in August, and then surged to an 18.2 million unit rate in September. Labor relations within the auto industry remain favorable. The United Auto Workers ratified their new contract with Chrysler on October 22. The UAW has reached a preliminary agreement with GM. GM workers are expected to vote on the agreement soon. The UAW's talks with Ford will begin after the GM agreement is ratified," said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. "A negative for the Michigan economy is the strong dollar, which makes U.S. exports more expensive and increases competition with foreign imports in U.S. markets."
The Michigan Economic Activity Index consists of eight variables, as follows: nonfarm payrolls, exports, hotel occupancy rates, continuing claims for unemployment insurance, housing starts, sales tax revenues, home prices, and auto production. All data are seasonally adjusted, 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 214 banking centers in Michigan, is a subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA), a financial services company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and strategically aligned by three business segments: The Business Bank, The Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. Comerica focuses on relationships, and helping people and businesses be successful. In addition to Michigan and Texas, Comerica Bank locations can be found in Arizona, California, and Florida, with select businesses operating in several other states, as well as in Canada and Mexico. To find Comerica on Facebook, please visit www.facebook.com/ComericaCares.
SOURCE Comerica Bank