Comerica Bank’s Texas Index Cools Again in March

Comerica Bank’s Texas Economic Activity Index fell slightly in March, declining 0.9 percentage points to a level of 104.2. The March reading is 33 points, or 46 percent, above the index cyclical low of 71.5. The index averaged 102 points for all of 2012, 10 points above the average for full-year 2011.

“Our Texas Index cooled again, reflecting what looks like temporary declines in both residential building permits and state exports. Index components were mixed, with payrolls, sales tax revenues and rig count higher. Exports, hotel occupancy, unemployment insurance claims and building permits weakened in March,” said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. “I expect the index to regain its upward trajectory soon. Labor markets continue to improve and housing markets are getting tighter across the state.”

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The Texas Economic Activity 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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