Comerica Bank’s Arizona Economic Activity Index rose roughly one point in March, to a level of 84.3. The March reading is 13 points, or 19 percent, above the index cyclical low of 71.0. Year-to-date the index has averaged 83 points, five points above the average for all of 2011.
“The Arizona economy continues to show evidence of nascent improvement. The state is pulling out of the economic stagnation that has plagued it since the end of the Great Recession in 2009. There remains a long way to go before we can say that the state has fully recovered from the recession, but measurable progress has been made,” said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. “A key reason for the hard slide in the Arizona economy, and for the only-limited recovery to date, is the housing market in Maricopa County. Fortunately, house prices in Phoenix are firming up after a long slide that deeply hurt the regional economy. I expect to see moderate gains to the Arizona economy for the remainder of the year.”