Comerica Bank’s Michigan Index flat

DETROIT — Comerica Bank’s Michigan Economic Activity Index remained flat in February at a level of 118.3.

The index is comprised of nine variables: nonfarm payroll employment, continuing claims for unemployment insurance, housing starts, house prices, industrial electricity sales, auto assemblies, total trade, hotel occupancy, and sales tax revenue.

Bank officials said five out of the nine index components were positive in February: nonfarm employment, unemployment insurance claims, house prices, industrial electricity consumption and auto and light truck production.

They said the state’s economy has lost momentum as vehicle production fell from late 2016 through 2017, with flat to gradually declining auto sales forecast for 2018, leading to a flat state index for the rest of the year.

The four other index components were down for the month: housing starts, total state trade, hotel occupancy and state sales tax revenues.

The index is calculated as a three-month average, is seasonally adjusted, and is expressed as a constant dollar value, removing the effects of inflation.

Comerica said the index is 20 points, or 21 percent, above the index cyclical low of 97.9, reached at the bottom of the last recession in 2007-09.

The index averaged 118.1 points for all of 2017, four-fifths of a point above the index average for 2016.

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