DALLAS, March 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's Texas Economic Activity Index fell in January, decreasing 0.4 percentage points to a level of 92.6. January's reading is 20 points, or 27 percent, above the index cyclical low of 72.8. The index averaged 97.7 points for all of 2015, seven and three-fifths points below the average for full-year 2014. December's index reading was 92.9.
"Our Texas Economic Activity Index declined again in January, down for 14 out of the last 15 months. Most index components have been consistently weak during that period, including state exports, unemployment insurance claims (inverted), rig count and hotel occupancy. Housing starts and state sales tax revenues have been mixed. Two index components have remained positive since the end of 2014 despite the drag from the depressed energy sector. They are house prices and payroll employment. The difference in the trends of the eight index components over the past 15 months shows the complexity and the resiliency of the state economy," said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. "The improvement in oil prices, from late February through March, is good news for Texas, if prices hold up. This is not a sure thing, but we are hopeful that firmer oil prices will add support to the beleaguered energy sector this year."
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 133 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.
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SOURCE Comerica Bank