DALLAS, March 31, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's Texas Economic Activity Index increased in January to 128.0. January's index reading was 20 percent above the recent low of 106.7 set in June 2020. The index averaged 123.7 points for all of 2020, 16.1 points below the average for 2019. December's index reading was revised to 125.5.
Our Texas Economic Activity Index improved for the seventh consecutive month in January, indicating that the Texas economy was expanding consistently through the fall/winter surge in coronavirus cases. January data was also supported by the $900 billion fiscal package passed at the very end of 2020. Eight out of nine index components were positive in January. They were nonfarm payrolls, unemployment insurance claims (inverted), house prices, industrial electricity demand, drilling rig count, total state trade, hotel occupancy and state sales tax revenue. The sole negative component for the month was housing starts. In February, Texas endured record low temperatures that briefly shut down many businesses. Also, consumer spending reset after the January stimulus boost. Conditions changed again in March with the passage of an even bigger fiscal stimulus package and expectations of ramped up infrastructure spending after that. Texas also removed all coronavirus-related restrictions on businesses in March and removed age restrictions for coronavirus vaccinations for adults. With normal weather, ample federal support, low business barriers and strengthening business and consumer confidence, we expect to see favorable economic indicators for Texas through the remainder of this year. Firming oil prices have also motivated a moderate uptick in oil field activity. The Texas rig count has doubled from 100 rigs last August to 200 in March.
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 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 $88 billion as of Dec. 31, 2020.
SOURCE Comerica Bank