DALLAS, Oct. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Comerica Bank’s Texas Economic Activity Index increased in July to 111.7. July’s index reading was 16 points, or 17 percent, above the index cyclical low of 95.5. The index averaged 139.0 points for all of 2019, 3.7 points above the average for 2018. June’s index reading was revised to 107.0.

Our state economic activity indexes all showed an uptick in economic activity in July. The rebound, after the precipitous decline last spring, is dampened somewhat because of the smoothing process that we use to reduce the volatility inherent in some regional economic data. We expect to see ongoing gains in the August state economic activity indexes. In July, six out of nine sub-indexes were positive for Texas. They were nonfarm payrolls, housing starts, house prices, total state trade, hotel occupancy and state sales tax revenue. Unemployment insurance claims (inverted), industrial electricity demand and drilling rig count remained negative as they all have for the last four months. The string of negatives for the drilling rig count began in December 2018. Oil prices eased at the end of September, after firming early in the month. The current price regime, near $40/barrel for West Texas Intermediate, will keep a floor under drilling activity, but will not motivate a rapid rebound from the current depressed environment. The drilling rig count for Texas was relatively stable near 110 rigs from early June through the end of September. The airline industry is also a major employer in the state. The result of the current negotiations in Washington D.C. on another round of fiscal stimulus may be a determining factor in airline industry employment this fall. The major airlines have said that without additional support they will lay off tens of thousands of workers this fall.

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 Incorporated (NYSE: CMA) is a financial services company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and strategically aligned by three business segments: The Commercial Bank, The Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. Comerica focuses on relationships, and helping people and businesses be successful. In addition to 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. Comerica reported total assets of $84 billion at June 30, 2020.

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SOURCE Comerica Bank

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