Comerica Bank’s California Economic Activity Index increased by 0.8 percentage points in March to reach 128.7. March’s reading is 45 points, or 53 percent, above the index cyclical low of 84.1. The index averaged 122.4 points in 2016, two and three-fifths points above the average for all of 2015. February’s index reading was 127.9.
“Our California Economic Activity Index increased again in March, for the 12th consecutive month. Results were mixed in March, with four out of eight index components positive and the other four negative. Positives for March were payroll jobs, federal defense spending, house prices and the NASDAQ 100 Technology Stock Index. Negatives were state exports, unemployment insurance claims (inverted), housing starts and hotel occupancy. We expect the California economy to make moderate gains through the remainder of this year. The state is exposed to key elements of the Trump Administration agenda, including export policy and defense spending. Also, federal personal income tax reform may have some negative implications for California if the deduction for state and local taxes is eliminated or reduced,” said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. “House prices are generally improving statewide, but strong gains in San Francisco through last year have eased to a more sustainable pace.”
For a PDF version of the California Economic Activity Index click here: California_Index_0517.