Comerica Michigan Index improves

DETROIT—Comerica Bank’s Michigan Economic Activity Index rose in August to 103.1, some 16 points, or 19 percent, higher than the bottom of the coronavirus pandemic recession last spring.

The index is comprised of nine variables—nonfarm payroll employment, continuing claims for unemployment insurance, housing starts, a house price index, industrial electricity sales, auto assemblies, total state trade, hotel occupancy, and sales tax revenue—that are seasonally adjusted, converted to constant-dollar figures, and expressed as a three-month moving average.

In August, bank officials said all nine variables improved for the second month in a row. However, they also said they remain concerned about a new spread of the coronavirus through the manufacturing-intensive Midwest region, which could cause more restrictive social mitigation policies that could drag down the economy.

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