DALLAS, July 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's Texas Economic Activity Index eased in May, down 0.6 percentage points to a level of 91.5. May's reading is 19 points, or 26 percent, above the index cyclical low of 72.8. The index averaged 97.5 points for all of 2015, seven and three-fifths points below the average for full-year 2014. April's index reading was 92.1.
"Our Texas Economic Activity Index ticked down again for May, after improving in April. We can say that the rate of deterioration in the index is easing, indicating that the Texas economy is still feeling the weight of the reset in the energy sector, but that weight will gradually diminish going forward. The drilling rig count, which serves as our marker for activity in the oil and gas industry, has stabilized with the rebound in oil prices off the February low. In recent weeks the rig count has increased slightly. However, many lagged effects from the dramatic reset in oil prices are still working through the Texas economy," said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. "We look for a gradual flattening out of our Texas Index through the second half of the year, and stabilizing economic conditions in areas with a high concentration of oil-related activity."
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 131 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.