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Comerica Bank's Michigan Index Ticks Down

DALLAS, Nov. 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's Michigan Economic Activity Index declined in September to a level of 118.1. September's reading is 20 points, or 21 percent, above the index cyclical low of 97.9. The index averaged 118.4 points for all of 2018, which was unchanged from the index average for 2017. August's index reading was 118.3.

Comerica logo. (PRNewsFoto/Comerica Bank) (PRNewsfoto/Comerica Bank)

Comerica Bank's Michigan Economic Activity Index ticked down in September, ending a three-month improving trend. The September index level of 118.1 was first reached in December 2016, so we have seen little upward momentum in the state economy for nearly two years. Total employment in the state in September was up by only 1,000 jobs since December 2016. The September index data reflects uncertainty in the Michigan economy as the UAW/GM strike approached. Now that the strike has been resolved, we expect to see better performance in the November numbers, to be released later this year and early next year. In September, four out of nine index components were positive. They were unemployment insurance claims (inverted), house prices, hotel occupancy and state sales tax revenue. The four negatives were housing starts, industrial electricity demand, light vehicle production and total state trade. The employment sub-index was unchanged in September. Of the nine components, house prices have been the most consistent positive for the Michigan Index recently. According to the Case-Shiller data, Detroit area house prices were up 3.6 percent in September over the previous 12 months, ahead of the U.S. average of 3.2 percent. Declines in mortgage rates this year appear to be helping home sales. Going forward we expect mortgage rates to stabilize.

The Michigan 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, auto assemblies, total trade, hotel occupancy and sales tax revenue. All data are seasonally adjusted. Nominal values have been converted to constant dollar values. Index levels are expressed in terms of three-month moving averages.

Comerica Bank, with one of the largest banking center networks in Michigan, is a subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA), a financial services company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and 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 Michigan and Texas, Comerica Bank locations can be found in Arizona, California, and Florida, with select businesses operating in several other states, as well as in Canada and Mexico.

To subscribe to our publications or for questions, contact us at ComericaEcon@comerica.com. Archives are available at http://www.comerica.com/insights. Follow us on Twitter: @Comerica_Econ.

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SOURCE Comerica Bank