Comerica Bank’s Michigan business index improves

DETROIT—Comerica Bank’s Michigan Economic Activity Index increased in August to a level of 118.3 from a revised July reading of 118.1.

Comerica officials said that seven of the nine variables that comprise the index were positive in August: nonfarm payrolls, unemployment insurance claims, housing starts, house prices, industrial electricity demand, auto production, and state sales tax revenue. Total state trade was negative in August, and hotel occupancy was unchanged.

Comerica officials also said they expect the September and October indexes to be depressed because of the 40-day strike by the United Auto Workers against General Motors.

August’s reading is 20 points, or 21 percent, above the index cyclical low of 97.9, reached at the bottom of the last recession. The index averaged 118.4 points for all of 2018, unchanged from 2017.

The index is expressed in constant dollar values and as a three-month moving average.

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