DALLAS, Aug. 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's Texas Economic Activity Index grew 0.8 percent in May to 139.0. May's index reading is 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. April's index reading was revised to 137.9.
The Comerica Bank Texas Economic Activity Index increased for the fifth consecutive month in May, consistent with an ongoing moderate-to-strong GDP expansion for the state in 2019. Recent job growth has accelerated. April and May saw net job gains of around 32,000 for Texas, noticeably above the average of around 20,000 per month from November through March. For the year ending in May, Texas payrolls were up by 2.4 percent, well ahead of the U.S. average of 1.6 percent. Payroll employment has been a positive for the Texas Index for 20 consecutive months. Other positives in May were unemployment insurance claims (inverted), housing starts, industrial electricity demand, total state trade, hotel occupancy and state sales tax revenues. House prices and the drilling rig count were negative factors in May. Even though oil production remains strong, the Texas rig count has been on a declining trend since peaking at 540 rigs last October. The latest numbers, for the end of July, show a steep decline to 454 rigs. Despite increasing military tension in the Persian Gulf, crude oil prices remain fairly stable in the range of $55 to $60 dollars per barrel for West Texas Intermediate crude. However, concerns about a cooling global economy are weighing on demand forecasts. Manufacturing indicators are in contraction for Europe and parts of Asia.
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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