Comerica Bank's Arizona Index Increases

June 29, 2017 by Robert A. Dye Ph.D, Daniel Sanabria

Comerica Bank’s Arizona Economic Activity Index rose 0.8 percentage points in April to a level of 113.0. April’s index reading is 36 points, or 47 percent, above the index cyclical low of 77.0. The index averaged 110.3 points for all of 2016, three and one-half points above the average for 2015. March’s index reading was 112.2.  

“The Comerica Bank Arizona Economic Activity Index increased in April after dipping in March. Gains in
April were broad-based with seven out of eight index components positive. They were nonfarm employment, state exports, unemployment insurance claims (inverted), housing starts, house prices, hotel occupancy and enplanements. Only state sales tax revenues eased in April. Job growth has been choppy since the end of 2016, but it is still above the U.S. average, up 1.9 percent for the year ending in April,” said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. “The weak peso relative to the dollar has hurt trade with Mexico and cross-border retail sales for Arizona merchants. This year the peso has been gaining strength, which is a positive for the Arizona economy.” 

For a PDF version of the complete Arizona Economic Outlook, click here: Arizona_Index_0617.pdf

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Comerica Bank’s Arizona Index Gains Momentum

January 26, 2016 by Kyle Grace

Comerica Bank’s Arizona Economic Activity Index grew in November, increasing 0.9 percentage points to a level of 108.5. November’s index reading is 32 points, or 41 percent, above the index cyclical low of 77.0. The index averaged 99.7 points for all of 2014, four and one-fifth points above the average for full-year 2013. October’s index reading was 107.6.

“Our Arizona Economic Activity Index increased in November for the third consecutive month. Index components show a broad base of support with seven out of eight components either increasing or staying the same. Only state exports decreased, similar to a pattern seen in other states. We suspect that the strong dollar is an increasing headwind for most states. However, improving conditions for U.S. households are a major support to destination economies, including those in Arizona. Solid U.S. job gains, moderate-to-strong house price growth and low energy prices are combining to boost seasonal tourism,” said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. “We look for ongoing gains for Arizona in 2016, boosted by leisure and hospitality industries and by residential construction.”

State_Index_01_2016_Arizona

For a PDF version of the Arizona Economic Activity Index click here: ArizonaIndex_0116.

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Comerica Bank’s Arizona Index Marks Second Consecutive Gain

January 5, 2016 by Kyle Grace

Comerica Bank’s Arizona Economic Activity Index grew in October, increasing 0.5 percentage points to a level of 107.6. October’s index reading is 31 points, or 40 percent, above the index cyclical low of 77.0. The index averaged 99.7 points for all of 2014, four and one-fifth points above the average for full-year 2013. September’s index reading was 107.1.

“Our Arizona Economic Activity Index increased again in October after turning positive in September. October performance was strong with seven out of eight index components showing gains. Only state exports were negative for the month. We look for the state’s economy to gradually build momentum through 2016, supported by tourism, retirement relocations and West Coast businesses looking for lower-cost locations. Phoenix house prices were up 5.7 percent in October over the previous 12 months, a little better than the U.S. average according to the Case-Shiller data,” said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. “We expect gasoline prices to remain low through 2016, helping Arizona households and supporting the state’s important tourism industry.”

State_Indexes_Arizona_12_2015

For a PDF version of the Arizona Economic Activity Index click here: ArizonaIndex_1215.

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