Comerica Michigan Economic Index Rises

DETROIT — Comerica Bank’s Michigan Economic Activity Index increased in January, growing 0.3 percentage points to a level of 120.6.

The index averaged 117.6 points for all of 2014, 3.3 points above the index average for 2013. December’s index reading was 120.3.

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. Nominal values have been converted to constant dollar values. Index levels are expressed in terms of three-month moving averages.

“Our Michigan Economic Activity Index increased for the third consecutive month in January, indicating ongoing gains to the Michigan economy,” said Comerica chief economist Robert Dye. “Inputs to the headline index were mixed, with 5 out of 8 components increasing for the month, including payroll employment. We expect that the push to the Michigan economy from improving manufacturing conditions will ease in the months ahead as auto production crests at a cyclical high, and manufactured exports face increasing price competition due to a stronger dollar. We look for non-manufacturing industries to take a larger share of new jobs this year.”

January’s reading was 47 points, or 63 percent, above the index cyclical low of 73.8, reached at the bottom of the last recession.

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