DALLAS, Dec. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's Texas Economic Activity Index increased in September to 119.0. September's index reading was 25 percent above the index cyclical low of 95.5. The index averaged 139.7 points for all of 2019, 4.5 points above the average for 2018. August's index reading was 116.1.
Our Texas Economic Activity Index improved for the third consecutive month in September. As we see in other states, the rate of improvement has declined through the three months. In September, eight out of nine index components were positive including nonfarm payrolls, unemployment insurance claims (inverted), housing starts, house prices, industrial electricity demand, total state trade, hotel occupancy and state sales tax revenue. The rig count sub-index declined for the 22nd consecutive month and has lost nearly 80 percent of its November 2018 level. Firming of oil prices through November brought the price for West Texas Intermediate crude oil up to near $45 per barrel by the end of the month. This is a positive development for the industry, but it does not go far enough to quickly revitalize the Texas oil sector. The much-anticipated OPEC meeting later this week could set new 2021 production quotas for OPEC countries. On a weekly basis, the Texas rig count began to climb in late September, increasing from 106 rigs for the week of September 18, to 147 rigs for the week of November 27. This is still far below the recent peak of 540 rigs from October 2018. The late-2020 resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic is a significant near-term risk factor for the state economy. Conversely, the rapid development and approval of vaccines supports our assumption for economic normalization for the state through 2021. We expect Texas to continue to be a growth leader for the U.S. economy in 2021 and beyond.
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 Incorporated (NYSE: CMA) is 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 $83.6 billion as of Sept. 30, 2020.
SOURCE Comerica Bank