DALLAS, May 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's Texas Economic Activity Index eased again in March, decreasing 3.4 percentage points to a level of 101.1. March's reading is 29 points, or 39 percent, above the index cyclical low of 72.6. The index averaged 105.1 points for all of 2014, four and four-fifths points above the average for full-year 2013. February's index reading was 104.6.
"The Texas economy has lost momentum due to the reset in oil prices. Our Texas Economic Activity Index has declined for five consecutive months, beginning in November of last year. We expect to see more declines over the coming months as consolidation in the state's energy sector continues. Six out of eight index components declined in March. The exception was house prices, supported by the strong North Texas market," said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. "Recent firming of crude oil prices to the $55-$60 range is a good sign. We expect drilling rig counts to level out by mid-summer after falling by almost 60 percent, and that will help to establish a floor for the energy sector."
The Texas 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 the Baker Hughes rotary rig count. 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 is a subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA), the largest U.S. commercial bank headquartered in Texas, 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 133 banking centers in Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Kerrville regions of 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. To find Comerica on Facebook, please visit www.facebook.com/ComericaCares.
SOURCE Comerica Bank