Comerica Bank’s Texas Economic Activity Index increased one point in March, rising to a level of 97.0. The March index reading is 25 points, or 35 percent, above the index cyclical low of 71.7. The index averaged 96 points in the first quarter of 2012, six points above the index average for all of 2011.
“The Texas economy is showing strong growth through early 2012, driven by a vigorous energy sector and improving manufacturing conditions. Job growth remains well above the national average and the state unemployment rate is well below average, at 7.0 percent for March,” said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. “Natural gas prices are very low, weighing on some drilling activity, but energy remains a vital force in the state economy. Strength in energy and manufacturing is spilling over into the service sector, providing a broad basis for ongoing economic growth.”