Comerica Bank’s Michigan Index Returns to Growth

DETROIT — Comerica Bank’s Michigan Economic Activity Index rose 0.3 percentage points in November to a level of 119.4 after a slight decline in October.

The bank said November’s reading is 46 points, or 62 percent, higher than the trough hit at the bottom of the Great Recession in mid-2009.

With one month of reporting yet to come, the 2013 average for the index stood at 114.2, 7.1 percentage points higher than the index average for 2012.

Comerica Bank chief economist Robert Dye noted that “U.S. economic conditions are strong, creating demand for Michigan manufactured goods. Gasoline prices are low, providing a lift to household finances and supporting increased discretionary spending for Michigan consumers. And house prices are up, helping Michigan homeowners to feel wealthier and more confident. Winter weather conditions appear to be less severe than last year and that is another supporting factor for the Michigan economy.”

The Michigan Economic Activity Index is comprised of eight variables: nonfarm payrolls, exports, hotel occupancy rates, continuing claims for unemployment insurance, housing starts, sales tax revenues, home 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.

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