Comerica Bank’s Michigan Index ticks up

DETROIT — Comerica Bank’s Michigan Economic Activity Index ticked up in October to a level of 118.9.

The Index consists of nine variables — nonfarm payroll employment, continuing claims for unemployment insurance, housing starts, house price index, industrial electricity sales, auto assemblies, total trade, hotel occupancy and sales tax revenue. All data are seasonally adjusted, with values converted to constant dollars, and index levels are expressed in terms of three-month moving averages.

Bank officials said seven of nine index variables were positive in October — nonfarm payrolls, unemployment insurance claims, housing starts, house prices, industrial electricity demand, auto and light truck production and hotel occupancy. Negative numbers were posted in sales tax revenues and total state trade.

Bank officials siad the Nov. 30 signing of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement would reduce uncertainly for Michigan businseses, but China and Europe are posting slower growth, and more auto industry layoffs are looming.

October’s reading is 21 points, or 21 percent, above the index cyclical low of 97.9, reached at the bottom of the last recession. . The index averaged 118.2 points for all of 2017, one point above the index average for 2016. September’s index reading was 118.1.

To subscribe to Comerica economic publications or for questions, email ComericaEcon@comerica.com. Archives are available at http://www.comerica.com/insights.

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