DALLAS, Feb. 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's Texas Economic Activity Index fell in December, decreasing 1.2 percentage points to a level of 92.8. December's reading is 20 points, or 28 percent, above the index cyclical low of 72.8. The index averaged 97.7 points for all of 2015, seven and three-fifths points below the average for full-year 2014. November's index reading was 94.0.
"Our Texas Economic Activity Index declined again in December, now down 13 out of the last 14 months. Six out of eight index components were negative, with the biggest drag coming from state exports. This is strong evidence that the collapse of oil prices is dampening economic growth in Texas. Payroll employment and house prices were the two positive components of the index in December. We expect both employment growth and house price growth to ease in Texas over 2016. Year-over-year job growth in Texas has already clearly trended down through 2015, down to 1.4 percent in December, below the national average of 2.0 percent for the month. Housing markets in North Texas and in Austin remain tight, supporting prices. However, house price appreciation in energy-centric Houston is flattening out," said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. "2016 will be a transitional year for the Texas economy as it adjusts to lower oil prices for longer."
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