Comerica Bank’s Michigan Economic Activity Index ticked up one point in August, to a level of 87. The August index level is 16 points, or 23 percent, above the index cyclical low of 71. Year-to-date the index has averaged 87 points, two points above the average for all of 2010.
“The Michigan economy has held on to the gains generated by the restructuring automotive industry,” said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. “Auto sales firmed up in September to a 13 million unit pace nationwide. That helps to support recent increases to auto production as U.S. automakers move past the supply-chain bottlenecks that followed the Japan earthquake. Auto sales are expected to increase through 2012, but impaired consumer confidence and tepid job creation will keep sales gains confined to the weak-to-moderate range. Construction activity in Michigan is likely to remain soft and will be a leveling factor on the Michigan Economic Activity Index for some time to come. The ongoing crisis in the euro-zone does add downside risk to the global macroeconomic outlook.”