DALLAS, March 29, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Comerica Bank’s Texas Economic Activity Index grew 0.2 percent in January to a level of 132.7. January’s index reading is 37 points, or 39 percent, above the index cyclical low of 95.5. The index averaged 128.5 points for all of 2017, three and four-fifths points above the average for 2016. December’s index reading was revised to 132.4.
The Comerica Bank Texas Economic Activity Index increased again in January, now up for the fifth consecutive month. Six of the nine sub-indexes were positive for the month including nonfarm payrolls, unemployment insurance claims (inverted), housing starts, house prices, drilling rig count and state sales tax revenues. Two sub-index were negative including industrial electricity demand and hotel occupancy. The state total trade sub-index was unchanged in January. Our Texas Index continues to improve following the downturn in activity caused by Hurricane Harvey. The most recent estimate from Moody’s Analytics put the direct damage from last year’s storm between $60 and $70 billion. Some aspects of the Texas economy have been particularly strong, allowing for a quicker overall economic recovery following the storm. Texas has now seen 20 consecutive months of job gains. The positive job outlook, along with low costs of living and low costs of conducting business, are helping to draw people into the state’s major metropolitan areas. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Dallas-Fort Worth region saw the largest increase in population amongst major U.S. metropolitan areas in 2017, followed by Houston at number two and Austin at number nine. Texas’s energy sector also continues to improve. The Texas active rig count hit a two-year high at 499 rigs for the week of March 23 with WTI spot prices now around $65 per barrel.
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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