DALLAS, March 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's Texas Economic Activity Index rose one point in January, to a level of 94. January's reading is 22 points, or 31 percent, above the index cyclical low of 72. The January index level is up four points from the average of 90 for all of 2011.
"Momentum in the Texas economy increased in early 2012, after cooling at the end of 2011. Labor market conditions improved, the energy sector remained very active, and residential construction activity increased in January. I expect to see ongoing gains to our Texas Economic Activity Index through 2012, driven by continued strength in those three areas," said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. "There are still significant risk factors to watch out for at the global, national and local levels, including a cooler global macroeconomic environment, expected cuts to defense spending and possible airline industry consolidation, but I expect the Texas economy to remain strong in 2012."
As of this release, the Texas Economic Activity Index has been reconfigured to more accurately reflect inflection points in the business cycle. The revised Texas Index consists of seven variables, as follows: nonfarm payrolls, exports, sales tax revenues, hotel occupancy rates, continuing claims for unemployment insurance, building permits and 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 the commercial banking subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA), the largest U.S. banking company 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 Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and the San Antonio region 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.