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Comerica Bank's California Index Ticked Up

DALLAS, Oct. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's California Economic Activity Index increased in July to a level of 92.8. July's reading is 3 points, or 3 percent, above the cyclical low. The index averaged 124.4 points in 2019, 0.5 points above the average for all of 2018. June's index reading was revised to 90.1.

Our state economic activity indexes all showed a rebound in economic activity in July. The rebound is dampened somewhat because of the smoothing process that we use to reduce the volatility inherent in some regional economic data. The recovery for California has also been less robust than other states due to the late summer surge in COVID-19 cases which slowed the state's reopening plans in July and August. In July, six of the eight components gained including nonfarm employment, housing starts, industrial electricity demand, state total trade, the Dow Jones Technology Index and hotel occupancy. Unemployment insurance claims (inverted) remained negative. House prices went unchanged. We still expect an ongoing economic recovery for California in August, led by steady job gains. Through August, the state has reabsorbed 885,700 jobs, or 34 percent of the net jobs lost in March and April. The state's construction sector saw the strongest job recovery through August, consistent with a rebound in residential construction. This was followed by hiring in the healthcare sector. However, the outlook for the California economy this fall remains highly uncertain as risk factors mount. California's high unemployment rate, the end of enhanced unemployment benefits, diminishing outlook for additional federal fiscal stimulus, the potential for increased COVID-19 cases this fall and the destruction from ongoing wildfires are all risks to economic activity at the end of 2020.

The California Economic Activity Index consists of eight variables, as follows: nonfarm payroll employment, continuing claims for unemployment insurance, housing starts, house price index, industrial electricity sales, total trade, technology stock index and hotel occupancy. All data are seasonally adjusted. Nominal values have been converted to constant dollar values. Index levels are expressed in terms of three-month moving averages.

Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA) is a financial services company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and strategically aligned by three business segments: The Commercial Bank, The Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. Comerica focuses on relationships, and helping people and businesses be successful. In addition to 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. Comerica reported total assets of $84 billion at June 30, 2020.  

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SOURCE Comerica Bank

For further information: Media Contact: Robert Dye, (214) 462-6839, radye@comerica.com; Data Contact: Daniel Sanabria, (214) 462-6789, fdsanabria@comerica.com
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