DALLAS, July 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's Texas Economic Activity Index grew 0.1 percent in April to 137.5. April's index reading is 42 points, or 44 percent, above the index cyclical low of 95.5. The index averaged 134.5 points for all of 2018, 5.6 points above the average for 2017. March's index reading was revised to 137.3.
The Comerica Bank Texas Economic Activity Index improved for the fourth consecutive month in April. It has increased for 11 out of the last 13 months. The April gain of 0.1 percent is consistent with ongoing economic expansion at the start of the second quarter. For the year ending in April, the Texas Index is up by 3.2 percent, which can be considered a reasonable first guess for state real GDP growth over the 12 month period. For April, results were mixed. Five out of nine components were positive, while four were negative. The positive components were nonfarm employment, unemployment insurance claims (inverted), industrial electricity demand, hotel occupancy and state sales tax revenue. The negative components were housing starts, house prices, drilling rig count, and total state trade. Housing markets appear to be cooling nationwide and Texas will feel some drag. But steady job growth, consistent positive in-migration to the state and lower mortgage rates will help to support local housing markets. Oil prices have eased heading into early summer and that will be a dampening force on drilling activity. However, U.S. crude oil and refined product exports are increasing and that is good news for Texas. Also the consolidation we are seeing in the state's energy sector will help to stabilize the economic impact of fluctuating oil prices. Infrastructure development in West Texas will remain on track even with slightly lower oil prices.
The Texas Economic Activity Index consists of nine variables, as follows: nonfarm payroll employment, continuing claims for unemployment insurance, housing starts, house price index, industrial electricity sales, Texas rotary rig count, total trade, hotel occupancy and sales tax revenue. All data are seasonally adjusted. Nominal values have been converted to constant dollar values. Total index levels are expressed in terms of three-month moving averages.
Comerica Bank is a subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA), the largest U.S. commercial bank headquartered in Texas, strategically aligned by three business segments: The Business Bank, The Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. Comerica focuses on relationships, and helping people and businesses be successful. In addition to a local banking center network throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Kerrville, Texas, Comerica Bank locations can be found in Arizona, California, Florida and Michigan, with select businesses operating in several other states, as well as in Canada and Mexico.
SOURCE Comerica Bank