California Economy Ticks Up in March

Comerica Bank’s California Economic Activity Index broke a streak of flat readings in March, rising nearly two points to a level of 101.0. March’s reading is 28 points, or 38 percent, above the index cyclical low of 73.2. Year-to-date the index has averaged 100, one point above the average for all of 2011.

“Our California Economic Activity Index showed a small improvement for March, primarily reflecting ongoing strength in the state’s high-tech sector. However, economic momentum in the state remains somewhat patchy, and overall job growth is below the national average. State fiscal conditions are challenging and more fiscal tightening at the state level is expected. This will add to the drag from federal fiscal tightening, increasing the headwinds against private sector growth,” said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. “With federal and state-level fiscal tightening, municipal budgets will continue to be stressed in many areas.”

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