DALLAS, May 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Comerica Bank’s Michigan Economic Activity Index improved 0.8 percentage points in March to a level of 130.4. March’s reading is 56 points, or 76 percent, above the index cyclical low of 74.1. The index averaged 127.8 points for all of 2016, four and one-fifth points above the index average for 2015. February’s index reading was 129.6.

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«The Comerica Bank Michigan Economic Activity Index increased modestly in March after declining in February. We believe that the Michigan Index will continue to show a modest upward trajectory for the remainder of this year, but growth in the Michigan economy will likely be inconsistent. We have not seen three consecutive monthly gains in the Michigan Index since the summer of 2015. In March, 6 out of 8 index components were positive, including nonfarm payrolls, state exports, unemployment insurance claims (inverted), house prices, sales tax revenue and hotel occupancy. The housing starts and auto production sub-indexes both eased in March. We look for flat auto production this year as sales ease a bit after last year’s record pace,» said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. «House prices in Detroit gained 7.0 percent in March over the previous year according the Case-Shiller data.»

The Michigan Economic Activity Index consists of eight variables, as follows: nonfarm payrolls, exports, hotel occupancy rates, continuing claims for unemployment insurance, housing starts, sales tax revenues, house prices, and auto production. All data are seasonally adjusted, 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 one of the largest banking center networks 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.

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SOURCE Comerica Bank