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Comerica Bank's California Index Up Slightly

DALLAS, Feb. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's California Economic Activity Index improved by 0.1 percentage points in December to a level of 126.5. December's reading is 42 points, or 51 percent, above the index cyclical low of 84.1. The index averaged 122.4 points for all of 2016, two and three-fifths points above the average for all of 2015. November's index reading was 126.4.

"Our California Economic Activity Index increased in December for the ninth consecutive month. We said 10 months last time, but a data revision this month has changed the story. Most index components were positive for December, including nonfarm employment, state exports, housing starts, home prices and the technology stock price index. However, unemployment claims (inverted), defense spending and hotel occupancy dipped. State exports have generally been increasing but the strong dollar is a headwind for California's international exports, while the weak Mexican peso is a specific headwind," said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. "President Trump has announced his intention to significantly increase U.S. defense spending, which is a positive for the state economy."

The California Economic Activity Index consists of eight variables, as follows: nonfarm payrolls, exports, hotel occupancy rates, continuing claims for unemployment insurance, housing starts, national defense spending, home prices, and the NASDAQ-100-Technology Sector Index (NDXT). 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, with locations in the key California markets of San Francisco and the East Bay, San Jose, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Fresno, Sacramento, Santa Cruz/Monterey, and the Inland Empire, is a subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated (CMA). Comerica is a financial services company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and strategically aligned into three major business segments: the Business Bank, the Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. Comerica focuses on relationships and helping businesses and people be successful.

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