DALLAS, Oct. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's Texas Economic Activity Index increased in August to 116.1. August's index reading was 21 points, or 22 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. July's index reading was 111.7.
Our Texas Economic Activity Index improved for the second straight month in August, following the lockdown swoon from March through June. We expect to see further improvement in the Texas Index for September. In August, eight out of nine index components were positive, including nonfarm employment, unemployment insurance claims (inverted), housing starts, house prices, industrial electricity demand, total state trade, hotel occupancy and sales tax revenues. Only the drilling rig count sub-index remained in the red. We expect the rig count sub-index to turn mildly positive late this year reflecting recent stabilization and nascent gains in September. However, recent softer oil prices may challenge that assumption. Texas has four sets of economic risk factors that will be active through the remainder of this year. The first is regional coronavirus spread. Like most other states, Texas is seeing an increase in cases this fall. We do not expect to see a return to strict statewide social mitigation practices for the remainder of this year, but there is certainly potential for that outcome. The second big risk factor is the strength of the U.S. and global economies through the fourth quarter. Third is the specific risk to the energy industry. While Texas continues to diversify its economy, the energy industry remains a key accelerator for the state. The fourth set of risk factors include other idiosyncratic risks to key Texas industries, including airlines.
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 at Sept. 30, 2020.
SOURCE Comerica Bank