Comerica Bank’s California Economic Activity Index dipped 0.5 percentage points in September, declining to a level of 104.2, the bank reported in early December. September’s reading is 31 points, or 42 percent, above the index cyclical low of 73.2. Year-to-date the index has averaged 102, three points above the average for all of 2011.
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“Our California Economic Activity Index dipped in the third quarter even though the state continues to add jobs at a moderate pace,” said Robert Dye, chief economist at Comerica Bank. “Exports eased in September and the drilling rig count has declined noticeably since mid-summer. On the positive side, housing markets are looking firmer, particularly in Northern California, and this is providing broad-based support for the California economy.”
The California Economic Activity Index consists of eight variables, as follows: nonfarm payrolls, exports, sales tax revenues, hotel occupancy rates, continuing claims for unemployment insurance, building permits, Baker Hughes rotary rig count and the Silicon Valley 150 Index (SV150). 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 105 banking centers in the key California markets of San Francisco and the East Bay, San Jose, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Fresno, Sacramento, Santa Cruz/Monterey, and the Inland Empire, is a subsidiary of Comerica Inc. (NYSE: CMA). Comerica is a financial services company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and strategically aligned into three major business segments: the Business Bank, the Retail Bank, and Wealth Management.