Comerica Bank’s Arizona Economic Activity Index increased by 0.4 percent in October to a level of 113.4. October’s index reading is 14 points, or 14 percent, above the index cyclical low of 99.5. The index averaged 111.1 points for all of 2017, one point above the average for 2016. The September index reading was 113.0.
The Comerica Bank Arizona Economic Activity Index was up again by a moderate 0.4 percent in October, showing ongoing momentum in the Arizona economy. Eight of the nine indicators were positive for the second straight month. The positive indicators for October were nonfarm employment, unemployment insurance claims (inverted), housing starts, house prices, total state trade, hotel occupancy, state sales tax revenue and enplanements. Only industrial electricity demand posted a decline for the month. Buoyed by a strengthening housing market, Arizona job growth has continued its acceleration through November, with 101,600 jobs added, or 8,470 per month on average, over the preceding twelve months. That translates to a 3.6 percent gain year-over-year, second only to neighboring Nevada. According to recent figures from the Association of General Contractors, the Phoenix metro area alone added 17,500 construction jobs for the twelve months ending November 2018, which is good for second place nationally (behind only Houston). The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement was signed by the three country leaders on November 30. It remains to be ratified legislatively. While uncertainty about trade agreements has been reduced, uncertainty about global demand has increased with softer economic data from Europe and China. Manufacturing indicators for Mexico deteriorated at year-end.
For a PDF version of this report, click here: Comerica Bank's Arizona Index Climbs
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