DALLAS, Aug. 27, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's Texas Economic Activity Index increased 0.4 percent in June to 139.7. June'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. May's index reading was revised to 139.1.
The Comerica Bank Texas Economic Activity Index increased for the sixth consecutive month in June, indicating strong economic conditions for the Lone Star State. Our Texas Index has increased in 13 out of the last 15 months. Strong job growth is a key feature of the Texas economy. Over the year ending in June, Texas payroll employment was up by 2.5 percent, well above the U.S. average of 1.5 percent. Texas added 318,000 jobs over the year, accounting for one out of seven new jobs in the U.S. Nonfarm employment, industrial electricity demand, hotel occupancy and state sales tax revenue were positives in June. Unemployment insurance claims (inverted), housing starts, house prices, rig count and total state trade were negatives. The rig count has been a consistent negative all of this year. As of June, the rig count was down to 467 active rigs, well below the recent peak of 534 rigs from June 2018. WTI crude oil prices have been on a declining trend this year since peaking at near $64 per barrel in mid-April. Strong production from the Permian basin and expectations of cooling global demand growth have brought the price for WTI down to near $54 per barrel in late-August. This will likely result in a further easing of the rig count this year. Total employment in the Midland, Texas metro area, the economic center of the Permian Basin oil industry, has declined modestly since peaking in late 2018.
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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