DALLAS, Sept. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's Texas Economic Activity Index increased in July to 125.6. July's index reading was 26.6 percent above the recent low of 99.2 set in June 2020. The index averaged 112.1 points for all of 2020, 13.5 points below the average for 2019. June's index reading was revised to 125.3.
Our Texas Economic Activity Index increased by a modest 0.2 percent in July after a strong 1.9 percent gain in June. The level of the index in July, at 125.6, is slightly below the pre-COVID reading of 126.2 from February 2020. The index is now up for the fifth consecutive month, and for the twelfth month out of the last thirteen. In July, seven out of nine sub-components saw gains. They were nonfarm employment, unemployment insurance claims (inverted), housing starts, house prices, drilling rig count, total state trade and hotel occupancy. Industrial electricity demand and state sales tax revenues were down in July. Weak auto sales, held back by lack of dealer inventory, are weighing on sales tax revenues for Texas and likely all other states. New COVID cases in Texas have declined noticeably after peaking in early September. We expect businesses in the state to continue to operate unrestricted through the remainder of this year. Crude oil prices have trended up slightly since late August, pushed in part by back-to-back storms which impacted coastal Texas and Louisiana. However, supply side threats are matched against a cooling Chinese economy and the potential drag on global oil demand. The state's drilling rig count has improved through mid-September. Higher natural gas prices through the third quarter are helping profitability for the state's energy sector.
The Texas Economic Activity Index consists of nine variables, as follows: nonfarm payroll employment, continuing claims for unemployment insurance, housing starts, house price index, industrial electricity sales, Texas rotary rig count, total trade, hotel occupancy and sales tax revenue. All data are seasonally adjusted. Nominal values have been converted to constant dollar values. Total index levels are expressed in terms of three-month moving averages.
Comerica Bank is a subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA), a financial services company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and strategically aligned by three business segments: The Commercial Bank, The Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. Comerica focuses on relationships, and helping people and businesses be successful. In addition to 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. Comerica reported total assets of $88.4 billion at June 30, 2021.