DALLAS, Sept. 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's Texas Economic Activity Index was unchanged in July at 139.2. July's index reading was 44 points, or 46 percent, above the index cyclical low of 95.5. The index averaged 134.6 points for all of 2018, 5.7 points above the average for 2017. June's index reading was revised to 139.2.
The Comerica Bank Texas Economic Activity Index was unchanged in July, ending the streak of six consecutive monthly gains since January of this year. Only two of the component sub-indexes were positive in July. They were nonfarm employment and industrial electricity demand. Four sub-indexes were negative in July. The negatives were unemployment insurance claims (inverted), housing starts, drilling rig count and total state trade. The three unchanged sub-indexes were house prices, hotel occupancy and sales tax revenue. The slide in oil prices from near $66 per barrel for WTI in late April, to $53 per barrel in mid-June was a drag on the Texas economy. Our index for the state drilling rig count has declined for the seven straight months ending in July. Recently, oil prices have trended up with the attack on Saudi Arabian production facilities. The Texas house price sub-index has also been a drag, more often than not, over the past 18 months. Most non-energy components of the Texas economy continue to perform well. However, economic growth is cooler outside of Texas, and that will weigh on demand for Texas exports. Many states in the Midwest and East Coast are showing little-to-no job growth. Europe is clearly cooling as Germany finds itself on the brink of recession. Global powerhouse China is losing momentum. On the plus side, Texas Central Partners is progressing toward groundbreaking for its high speed rail line from Dallas to Houston.
The Texas 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, Texas rotary rig count, total trade, hotel occupancy and sales tax revenue. All data are seasonally adjusted. Nominal values have been converted to constant dollar values. Total index levels are expressed in terms of three-month moving averages.
Comerica Bank is a subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated (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 a local banking center network throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Kerrville, 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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