Comerica's Michigan Economic Index Ticks Up

DETROIT — The Michigan Economic Activity Index, compiled by Comerica Bank, rose 1.9 percentage points in April to a level of 129.1. That’s up from 127.2 in March.

“The state’s important auto sector is not expected to increase production significantly from current strong levels and so that boost to the Michigan economy will diminish going forward,” said Robert Dye, Comerica chief economist. “We expect growth in the second half of this year to come from the household sector, supported by ongoing job creation in services and by firming real estate market conditions. Over the 12-month period ending in April, payroll jobs increased by 2.5 percent in Michigan, well above the U.S. average of 1.9 percent. However, going forward, we expect Michigan job growth to ease back toward the U.S. average.”

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, 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.

April’s reading is 55 points, or 74 percent, above the index cyclical low of 74.0, reached at the bottom of the last recession. The index averaged 124.5 points for all of 2015, six and seven-tenths points above the index average for 2014.

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