Comerica Bank’s Arizona Economic Activity Index increased by 0.2 percent in December to a level of 114.0. December’s index reading is 15 points, or 15 percent, above the index cyclical low of 99.5. The index averaged 112.7 points for all of 2018, 1.7 points above the average for 2017. November’s revised index reading was 113.8.
The Comerica Bank Arizona Economic Activity Index ticked up again, this time by 0.2 percent in December, showing sustained momentum in the Arizona economy with its fifth consecutive monthly gain. Please note that housing starts, industrial electricity demand, and total trade were estimated for the month of December due to delays in the release of these data points. Eight of the nine indicators were positive for December, including nonfarm employment, unemployment insurance claims (inverted), house prices, industrial electricity demand, state trade, hotel occupancy, state sales tax revenue and enplanements. Only housing starts posted a decline for the month. Despite the slump in housing starts for a second straight month, longer-term prospects for construction remain positive as households are expected to continue streaming into Arizona. The State of Arizona’s Office of Economic Opportunity recently released its annual Projected Employment Report, which forecasts construction to lead all other sectors. Beyond construction, Arizona’s tech and professional services sectors are expected to remain strong as firms continue to take advantage of the state’s comparatively low-cost and business-friendly environment. Several notable firms in these sectors have already announced plans to relocate operations to Arizona, including Infosys and Deloitte, who have committed to 1,000 and 2,500 new jobs in the Phoenix metro area, respectively.
For a PDF version of this report, click here: Comerica Bank’s Arizona Index Improves
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