DALLAS, April 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's Michigan Economic Activity Index decreased in February, losing 1.9 percentage points to reach a level of 118.7. February's reading is 45 points, or 61 percent, above the index cyclical low of 73.8. The index averaged 117.6 points for all of 2014, three and three-tenths points above the index average for 2013. January's index reading was 120.6.
"Our Michigan Economic Activity Index eased in February as severe winter weather gripped the Midwest and Northeast. Four components of our Michigan Index that were negative factors for February are weather-sensitive. These are unemployment insurance claims, housing starts, auto production (depressed by weaker sales) and sales tax revenue. Fortunately, U.S. auto sales bounced back in March to a 17.2 million unit pace after slumping through the winter. Also, we expect home sales and residential construction activity to improve this spring," said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. "With auto industry output nearing a cyclical peak, and other manufacturing industries feeling the headwinds of a weaker energy sector and a stronger dollar, we expect Michigan's non-manufacturing industries to account for a bigger portion of new business for the state this year."
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