Comerica Bank’s Michigan Economic Activity Index grew in August, increasing 0.3 percentage points to reach a level of 127.4. August’s reading is 53 points, or 72 percent, above the index cyclical low of 74.0. The index averaged 117.6 points for all of 2014, three and one-half points above the index average for 2013. July’s index reading was 127.2.
“Our Michigan Economic Activity Index increased again in August, its fifth consecutive monthly gain. The U.S. auto industry continues to generate impressive numbers. U.S. auto sales reached a 17.8 million unit rate in August, and then surged to an 18.2 million unit rate in September. Labor relations within the auto industry remain favorable. The United Auto Workers ratified their new contract with Chrysler on October 22. The UAW has reached a preliminary agreement with GM. GM workers are expected to vote on the agreement soon. The UAW’s talks with Ford will begin after the GM agreement is ratified,” said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. “A negative for the Michigan economy is the strong dollar, which makes U.S. exports more expensive and increases competition with foreign imports in U.S. markets.”
For a PDF version of the Michigan Economic Activity Index click here: Michigan_1015.