DALLAS, April 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's Texas Economic Activity Index eased again in February, decreasing 1.6 percentage points to a level of 104.6. February's reading is 32 points, or 44 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. January's index reading was 106.3.
"Our Texas Economic Activity Index has now declined for four consecutive months, beginning in November of last year. The decline largely reflects the impact of significantly lower crude oil prices on the state economy. Well drilling and servicing activity is reduced and those industries are shedding jobs. Oil is a key factor in the state economy, but not the only factor. In our February index we see the consumer-driven components, which are housing starts, house prices and sales tax, still going in a positive direction," said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. "The key question for Texas regarding oil is...how low for how long? The increase in the price of West Texas Intermediate crude from a mid-March low of $47 per barrel, to now $57 per barrel, is a positive, but still tenuous development."
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