Comerica Bank's Michigan Index Ticks Up

DETROIT — Comerica Bank’s Michigan Economic Activity Index grew in October, up 1 percentage point to a level of 128.4. The increase broke a three-month decline in the index that started in July.

The 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.

Said Comerica Chief Economist Robert Dye: “Gains were visible across most indicators, with seven out of eight index components either improving or staying even in October. The gainers were nonfarm payrolls, state exports, unemployment insurance claims, housing starts, auto production, and hotel occupancy. Home prices were unchanged, as they were in August and September. Only state sales tax revenue declined in October.”

October’s reading is 54 points, or 73 percent, above the index cyclical low of 74.1, reached at the bottom of the last recession in 2007-09. The index averaged 123.6 points for all of 2015, five and four-fifths points above the index average for 2014. September’s index reading was 127.4.

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