Comerica Bank’s Arizona Economic Activity Index dipped 0.3 percentage points in March to a level of 112.3. March’s index reading is 35 points, or 46 percent, above the index cyclical low of 77.0. The index averaged 110.3 points for all of 2016, three and two-fifths points above the average for 2015. February’s index reading was 112.6.
“The Comerica Bank Arizona Economic Activity Index eased slightly by 0.3 percent in March, about where it has been for four consecutive months. Job growth has eased in Arizona. The year-over-year change in payroll jobs has declined from 2.9 percent in July 2016 to 2.0 percent in April 2017. Ominously, the month-to-month pattern of job growth has been inconsistent since last November, alternating between net gains and net losses for the last six months. Our employment sub-index for Arizona was unchanged in March. Three other components were positive, including unemployment insurance claims (inverted), house prices and enplanements. The four negative index components in March were state exports, housing starts, sales tax revenue and hotel occupancy,” said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. “House prices in Phoenix have been increasing steadily since early 2016. As of March they were up 5.6 percent over the previous 12 months.”
For a PDF version of the complete Arizona Economic Outlook, click here: Arizona_Index_0517.