DALLAS, April 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's Texas Economic Activity Index increased in February to 143.3. February's index reading was 48 points, or 50 percent, above the index cyclical low of 95.5. The index averaged 139.1 points for all of 2019, 3.8 points above the average for 2018. January's index reading was 142.2.
Due to reporting lags in state-level economic data, the February edition of our Comerica state economic activity indexes does not fully reflect the swift and powerful contraction in the U.S. economy this spring due to the global coronavirus pandemic. In February, our Texas Index increased for the sixth consecutive month, showing favorable economic conditions early this year. Six out of nine sub-indexes were positive in February including nonfarm payrolls, housing starts, house prices, total state trade, hotel occupancy and state sales tax revenue. The three sub-indexes that declined were unemployment insurance claims (inverted), industrial electricity demand and the drilling rig count. In the March data, we expect to see most of the sub-indexes begin to deteriorate, due to coronavirus-related social mitigation policies. The April data will likely show a significant deterioration across most sub-indexes. Because of volatility in many state-level economic series, our sub-indexes are based on three-month moving average of the original data series. That smoothing process means that the sub-indexes for May will show an ongoing deterioration from April. At the end of April, Texas began relaxing its social mitigation policies. We expect to see some near-term benefit to the state economy from relaxed policies. However, the drag to the state economy from a weakened energy sector is severe and will keep state-level data for Texas suppressed.
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), 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 a local banking center network throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Kerrville, 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.