Texas Economy Ticks Up in December

Comerica Bank’s Texas Economic Activity Index rose one point in December, to a level of 93.  December’s reading is 21 points, or 29 percent, above the index cyclical low of 72. The Texas index averaged 90 points for all of 2011, compared to the 2010 average of 80.

“After a solid start to 2011, our Texas Economic Activity Index flattened out late in the year. For December we see an uptick in the index reflecting stronger state export data and improved residential construction activity. Looking ahead, I expect to see ongoing gains to the Texas index through 2012, driven by broad-based job growth, strong energy markets, and private-sector construction,” said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. “Drags from caps and cuts in federal spending and the American Airlines bankruptcy will not be enough to derail a vigorous state economy. I expect the Texas economy to remain strong in 2012.”

As of this release, the Texas Economic Activity Index has been reconfigured to more accurately reflect inflection points in the business cycle.  The revised Texas Index consists of seven variables, as follows: nonfarm payrolls, exports, sales tax revenues, hotel occupancy rates, continuing claims for unemployment insurance, building permits and Baker Hughes rotary rig count. All data are seasonally adjusted, as necessary, and indexed to a base year of 2008. Nominal values have been converted to constant dollar values Index levels are expressed in terms of three-month moving averages.

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