Comerica’s Michigan Index Grows for Second Month

DALLAS — Comerica Bank’s Michigan Economic Activity Index grew in December, increasing 0.4 percentage points to a level of 120.0.

The index averaged 117.3 points for all of 2014, three and one-tenth points above the index average for 2013. November’s index reading was 119.6.

December’s reading is 46 points, or 62 percent, above the index low of 73.8, which was reached at the bottom of the last recession.

“Our Michigan Economic Activity Index increased again in December, following a small increase in November,” said Comerica chief economist Robert Dye. “These two monthly gains put the Michigan Index back on an upward track after a one-month decline last October. Going forward we anticipate only limited gains from auto production driving the Michigan economy in 2015. However, we expect to see more improvement in housing markets, both in terms of residential construction and also in terms of house price gains in 2015. Labor market conditions will continue to improve in 2015, providing a broadening base of support for the Michigan economy.”

The Michigan Economic Activity Index consists 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. Index levels are expressed in terms of three-month moving averages.

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