DALLAS, May 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's Florida Economic Activity Index increased in March, rising four points to a level of 109.5. The March index reading is 29 points, or 36 percent, above the index cyclical low of 80.6. The index averaged 107 in the first quarter of 2012, eight points above the index average for all of 2011.
"Florida is gaining economic momentum, as shown by the uptick in our Florida Economic Activity Index for March. Real estate conditions are gradually firming, as buyers take advantage of the very high affordability in residential markets," said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. "Tourism activity is picking up and that is helping to stabilize the state economy. However, cuts in federal spending are dragging on the Florida economy as the space shuttle program fades into the history books. A weaker global macroeconomic environment may limit international interest in Florida real estate this year."
The Florida Economic Activity Index consists of seven variables, as follows: nonfarm payrolls, exports, sales tax revenues, hotel occupancy rates, continuing claims for unemployment insurance, building permits, and airline passenger deplanements. 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.
In addition to Boca Raton, East Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Naples, Orlando, Palm Beach Gardens, Singer Island, Sarasota, Stuart, Wellington and Weston, Fla., Comerica (NYSE: CMA) locations can be found in its headquarters state of Texas, as well as in Arizona, California and Michigan, with select businesses operating in several other states, as well as in Canada and Mexico.