DALLAS, Nov. 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's Texas Economic Activity Index improved slightly in September, up 0.3 percentage points to a level of 90.6. September's reading is 18 points, or 24 percent, above the index cyclical low of 72.8. The index averaged 97.5 points for all of 2015, seven and one-half points below the average for full-year 2014. August's index reading was 90.3.
"The Comerica Bank Texas Economic Activity Index improved in September, only the second monthly improvement in the 23 months since October 2014. Over the last two years, the decline in the state's drilling rig count, reflecting much reduced oil field activity, has been a strong weight on the overall index. With firmer oil prices, the rig count leveled out over the summer and has begun to increase. We expect that stability in oil field activity will allow the Texas Index to stabilize and then to gradually improve through 2017. However, next year will likely not show a strong rebound for Texas. Oil field activity will remain well below the booming pace seen from 2010 through 2014. The Houston economy, in particular, will take some time to recover, and this will keep improvement in our Texas Index moderate through 2017," said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. "We look for ongoing job gains in Texas through 2017 as the drag from the energy sector dissipates."
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 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.