Comerica Bank’s Michigan Economic Activity Index grew in September, up 4.2 percentage points to a level of 129.4. September’s reading is 57 points, or 79 percent, above the index cyclical low of 72.1. The index averaged 114 for all of 2012, 11 points above the index average for 2011. August’s index reading was revised down from 125.4 to 125.2.
“A surge in residential building permits in September lifted our Michigan Index despite a small dip in payroll employment for the month. Also, vehicles assemblies were strong in September. However, recent auto sales data has been soft. The surge in residential building permits is probably not sustainable and will likely be a drag on the Michigan index in coming months,” saidRobert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. “Auto sales dipped through September and October, down to a 15.2 million unit pace, as fleet sales eased and consumer confidence suffered through the federal government shutdown. Auto sales are expected to show gains in the November data.”
The Michigan Economic Activity Index consists of seven variables, as follows: nonfarm payrolls, exports, sales tax revenues, hotel occupancy rates, continuing claims for unemployment insurance, building permits, and motor vehicle production. 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 214 banking centers 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 find Comerica on Facebook, please visit www.facebook.com/ComericaCares.