Comerica Bank’s Texas Economic Activity Index climbed by 2.6 percentage points in March to a level of 97.5. March’s index reading is 25 points, or 34 percent, above the index cyclical low of 72.8. The index averaged 91.3 points for all of 2016, six and one-tenth points below the average for full-year 2015. February’s index reading was 94.9.
“The Comerica Bank Texas Economic Activity Index increased for the seventh consecutive month in March, showing a sustained recovery in the state economy. Moreover, for the first time since May 2014, all eight components of the index were positive for the month. Payroll job growth has been positive on net for the 10 months ending in April, and we expect that positive trend to continue through the remainder of this year. With oil prices relatively stable near $50 per barrel, the drilling rig count continues to trend upward. That trend will not continue indefinitely, but we expect to see more gains through the second half of this year. Increased drilling activity is also helping Texas manufacturers and other providers of goods and services to the energy sector,” said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. “House prices in Dallas were up by 8.6 percent in March over the previous year according to the Case-Shiller data, further evidence of a strengthening Texas economy.”
For a PDF version of the Texas Economic Activity Index click here: Texas_Index_0517.