Comerica Bank's Florida Index Extends Gains

October 31, 2018 by Robert A. Dye, Ph.D., Daniel Sanabria

Comerica Bank’s Florida Economic Activity Index increased 0.3 points in August to a level of 115.1. August’s index reading is 17 points, or 17 percent, above the index cyclical low of 98.5. The index averaged 113.1 in 2017, 1.4 points above the average for all of 2016. July’s index reading was 114.8.

The Comerica Bank Florida Economic Activity Index improved again in August, now up for the third consecutive month. Gains were widespread for the month. Eight of the nine index components were positive in August. They were nonfarm payrolls, unemployment insurance claims (inverted), housing starts, house prices, industrial electricity demand, total state trade, hotel occupancy and sales tax revenue. Total enplanements was the only index component down for the month. We saw a slowdown in some of the index components in early 2018. However it appears to be more of a returning to trend growth following a spike in activity after last year’s active hurricane season, rather than a deterioration in economic conditions. Economic fundamentals remain solid for the Florida economy. Businesses continue to benefit from the state’s competitive cost structure and federal tax cuts implemented earlier this year. Job opportunities and the lower cost of living are drawing in more workers and retirees. This boosts demand for local goods and services creating a strong virtuous cycle. As some of the index components approach pre-hurricane levels we expect to see job growth drive our index higher. Monthly job growth remained positive through September. However, Hurricane Michael’s direct hit on the Panhandle may impact Florida’s October employment data.

For a PDF version of this article, please click here: Comerica Bank's Florida Index Extends Gains

The articles and opinions in this publication are for general information only, are subject to change, and are not intended to provide specific investment, legal, tax or other advice or recommendations. The information contained herein reflects the thoughts and opinions of the noted authors only, and such information does not necessarily reflect the thoughts and opinions of Comerica or its management team. We are not offering or soliciting any transaction based on this information. We suggest that you consult your attorney, accountant or tax or financial advisor with regard to your situation. Although information has been obtained from sources we believe to be reliable, neither the authors nor Comerica guarantee its accuracy, and such information may be incomplete or condensed. Neither the authors nor Comerica shall be liable for any typographical errors or incorrect data obtained from reliable sources or factual information.
 

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Comerica Bank's Florida Index Improves

September 27, 2018 by Robert A. Dye, Ph.D., Daniel Sanabria

Comerica Bank’s Florida Economic Activity Index increased 0.2 points in July to a level of 114.8. July’s index reading is 16 points, or 17 percent, above the index cyclical low of 98.5. The index averaged 113.1 in 2017, 1.4 points above the average for all of 2016. June’s index reading was 114.6.

The Comerica Bank Florida Economic Activity Index ticked up again in July after seeing similar gains in June. In July, six index components were positive. They were nonfarm payrolls, unemployment insurance claims (inverted), housing starts, house prices, industrial electricity demand, and sales tax revenue. Hotel occupancy and enplanements were negatives in July. Total state trade was unchanged for the month. The Florida economy continues to gain momentum following an early 2018 stall. Job growth accelerated from June to August, with the state’s real estate, manufacturing and accommodations industries all improving through late summer. Uncertainty surrounding foreign demand and global trade are risk factors that will remain through the end of 2018. Emerging markets, particularly in Latin America, are seeing increased economic volatility this year. Trade negotiations between the U.S. and Canada are still unresolved despite deadlines pushed by the Trump Administration. Also, trade tensions continue to rise with China as new tariffs were put into effect on September 24. Buffering the international risks to the Florida economy are the tailwinds from a strong U.S. economy. U.S. business and consumer confidence measures are at cyclical highs, if not, all-time highs. This will support ongoing domestic travel into Florida as well as corporate and household relocations.

For a PDF version of this article, please click here: Comerica Bank's Florida Index Improves

The articles and opinions in this publication are for general information only, are subject to change, and are not intended to provide specific investment, legal, tax or other advice or recommendations. The information contained herein reflects the thoughts and opinions of the noted authors only, and such information does not necessarily reflect the thoughts and opinions of Comerica or its management team. We are not offering or soliciting any transaction based on this information. We suggest that you consult your attorney, accountant or tax or financial advisor with regard to your situation. Although information has been obtained from sources we believe to be reliable, neither the authors nor Comerica guarantee its accuracy, and such information may be incomplete or condensed. Neither the authors nor Comerica shall be liable for any typographical errors or incorrect data obtained from reliable sources or factual information.
 

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Comerica Bank's Florida Index Inches Up

August 29, 2018 by Robert A. Dye, Ph.D., Daniel Sanabria

Comerica Bank’s Florida Economic Activity Index increased 0.2 points in June to a level of 114.6. June’s index reading is 16 points, or 16 percent, above the index cyclical low of 98.5. The index averaged 113.1 in 2017, one and two-fifths points above the average for all of 2016. May’s revised index reading was 114.4.

The Comerica Bank Florida Economic Activity Index inched up again in June after being unchanged in May. The Florida Index has been essentially flat through the first five months of this year. Even though job creation has been steady after the disruption by Hurricane Irma last September, other index components have been mixed. In June, six index components were positive. They were nonfarm payrolls, unemployment insurance claims (inverted), house prices, industrial electricity demand, hotel occupancy and sales tax revenue. Housings starts, total state trade and enplanements were negatives in June. The Florida economy had a growth spurt in 2014 and 2015 that featured a surge in multifamily construction. Since late 2015, multifamily construction has leveled out, as has the rate of payroll job growth for the state. The strong dollar played a role in slower condo absorption, reducing purchasing power for many foreign buyers. Cash sales for condos have been trending down since early 2014. Recently, price gains for condos have eased. In April, the median sale price for condos and townhouses was up a strong 10.5 percent year-over-year statewide, according to FloridaRealtors. By July, price appreciation had cooled to 5.3 percent. The good news is that the U.S. economy has been strong, fortifying domestic buyers. The statewide median sale price for a single-family home was up 6.3 percent in July, over the previous year, according to FloridaRealtors.

For a PDF version of this article, please click here: Comerica Bank's Florida Index Inches Up

The articles and opinions in this publication are for general information only, are subject to change, and are not intended to provide specific investment, legal, tax or other advice or recommendations. The information contained herein reflects the thoughts and opinions of the noted authors only, and such information does not necessarily reflect the thoughts and opinions of Comerica or its management team. We are not offering or soliciting any transaction based on this information. We suggest that you consult your attorney, accountant or tax or financial advisor with regard to your situation. Although information has been obtained from sources we believe to be reliable, neither the authors nor Comerica guarantee its accuracy, and such information may be incomplete or condensed. Neither the authors nor Comerica shall be liable for any typographical errors or incorrect data obtained from reliable sources or factual information.

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Comerica Bank's Florida Index Is Up Again

August 1, 2018 by Robert A. Dye, Ph.D., Daniel Sanabria

Comerica Bank’s Florida Economic Activity Index increased 0.1 points in May to a level of 114.5. May’s index reading is 16 points, or 16 percent, above the index cyclical low of 98.5. The index averaged 113.1 in 2017, one and two-fifths points above the average for all of 2016. April’s index reading was 114.4.

The Comerica Bank Florida Economic Activity Index ticked up again in May after a similar small gain in April. Six out of nine sub-indexes were positive in May. They were nonfarm employment, unemployment insurance claims (inverted), housing starts, house prices, industrial electricity demand and total state trade. The hotel occupancy, sales tax revenue and enplanements sub-indexes were negatives in May. After big gyration due to Hurricane Irma last fall, job growth in Florida has been steady, averaging just under 17,000 per month through the first half of 2018. Recent forecasts expect the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season to be less active than average, hopefully allowing Florida to build on its recent economic momentum. Labor markets are tight statewide with the unemployment rate for May and June down to 3.8 percent, still above the low of 3.1 percent from March 2006. Recent home sales data for Florida looks a little soft. Single-family home sales this June were down 1.3 percent from June 2017 according to Florida Realtors. Cash sales were down 5.7 percent from a year ago. The median sales price for a single-family home in Florida was up 6.3 percent over the last year. Higher prices and a strong dollar may be discouraging international buyers. According to the National Association of Realtors, there has been a record drop in foreign purchases of U.S. homes this year.

For a PDF version of this article, please click here: Comerica Bank's Florida Index Is Up Again

The articles and opinions in this publication are for general information only, are subject to change, and are not intended to provide specific investment, legal, tax or other advice or recommendations. The information contained herein reflects the thoughts and opinions of the noted authors only, and such information does not necessarily reflect the thoughts and opinions of Comerica or its management team. We are not offering or soliciting any transaction based on this information. We suggest that you consult your attorney, accountant or tax or financial advisor with regard to your situation. Although information has been obtained from sources we believe to be reliable, neither the authors nor Comerica guarantee its accuracy, and such information may be incomplete or condensed. Neither the authors nor Comerica shall be liable for any typographical errors or incorrect data obtained from reliable sources or factual information.

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Comerica Bank's Florida Index Increases | June 2018

June 27, 2018 by Robert A. Dye, Ph.D., Daniel Sanabria

Comerica Bank’s Florida Index Increases Comerica Bank’s Florida Economic Activity Index increased by 0.1 points in April to a level of 114.4. April’s index reading is 16 points, or 16 percent, above the index cyclical low of 98.5. The index averaged 113.1 in 2017, one and two-fifths points above the average for all of 2016. March’s index reading was 114.3.

The Comerica Bank Florida Economic Activity Index improved in April following a three-month leveling-off from January through March. Six of the nine components were positive in April including nonfarm payroll employment, unemployment insurance claims (inverted), housing starts, house prices, sales tax revenues and total enplanements. Miami area house prices are up 5.0 percent for April, compared to a year earlier. Tampa prices are up 7.2 percent.  The three negative components for the month were industrial electricity sales, total state trade and hotel occupancy. April’s Florida Index reading is consistent with an ongoing moderate expansion for the Florida economy. Underpinning recent growth for Florida has been consistent job growth after the disruption from Hurricane Irma last fall. The area of the state economy that has shown weakness in recent months is total state trade (exports plus imports). The nominal value of Florida total trade is about 14 percent of nominal state gross domestic product. NAFTA trade, Mexico and Canada combined, is the largest trading destination for Florida, followed by China and Brazil. Beyond trade, Florida’s housing and tourism industries also have ties to international markets. Slower growth in other economies or an increase in the value of the U.S. dollar due to recently announced tariffs could impact these industries. Moderate-to-strong growth in the U.S. economy will be a positive for the Florida for the rest of 2018.

 

For a PDF version of this article, please click here: Florida Index June 2018

 

The articles and opinions in this publication are for general information only, are subject to change, and are not intended to provide specific investment, legal, tax or other advice or recommendations.  The information contained herein reflects the thoughts and opinions of the noted authors only, and such information does not necessarily reflect the thoughts and opinions of Comerica or its management team.  We are not offering or soliciting any transaction based on this information.  We suggest that you consult your attorney, accountant or tax or financial advisor with regard to your situation.  Although information has been obtained from sources we believe to be reliable, neither the authors nor Comerica guarantee its accuracy, and such information may be incomplete or condensed.  Neither the authors nor Comerica shall be liable for any typographical errors or incorrect data obtained from reliable sources or factual information.

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Comerica Bank’s Florida Index Levels Off

June 4, 2018 by Robert A. Dye, Ph.D., Daniel Sanabria

Comerica Bank’s Florida Economic Activity Index was unchanged in March at a level of 114.3. March’s index reading is 16 points, or 16 percent, above the index cyclical low of 98.5. The index averaged 113.1 in 2017, one and two-fifths points above the average for all of 2016. February’s index reading was 114.3.

The Comerica Bank Florida Economic Activity Index was unchanged again in March, and has now recorded a reading of 114.3 for the past three months. Six of the nine components were positive in March including nonfarm payroll employment, unemployment insurance claims (inverted), housing starts, house prices, industrial electricity consumption and total enplanements. The three negative components for the month were state total trade, hotel occupancy and sales tax revenues. Holding down the overall Florida Index has been a four month slide in hotel occupancy. This is consistent with a renormalization back to the pre-Hurricane Irma and Maria trend as individuals displaced by the storms move off of FEMA assistance. The slow recovery in Puerto Rico will continue to motivate outward migration from the island over to the mainland. So while demand for hotels is declining now, we expect to see an increase in demand for housing in the state’s major metropolitan areas going forward. State total trade has also been a drag on our Florida Index in recent months as both imports and exports remain below late 2017 highs. Trade is a wildcard for the Florida economy in 2018. After the Trump Administration announced new tariffs on Canada, Canada announced counter-tariffs which included imported orange juice, motor boats and other products that are produced in Florida. 

Florida Economic Activity Index

Explanatory Note:

The Florida 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, total trade, hotel oc-cupancy, sales tax revenue and total enplanements. All data are seasonally adjusted. Nominal values have been con-verted to constant dollar values. Index levels are expressed in terms of three-month moving averages.

In addition to Boca Raton, East Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Naples, Palm Beach Gardens, Singer Island, and Welling-ton Fla., Comerica (NYSE: CMA) locations can be found in its headquarters state of Texas, as well as in Arizona, Califor-nia and Michigan, with select businesses operating in several other states, as well as in Canada and Mexico.

To subscribe to our publications or for questions, contact us at ComericaEcon@comerica.com. Archives are available at http://www.comerica.com/insights. Follow us on Twitter: @Comerica_Econ.

For a PDF version of this report click here: Comerica Florida Index

The articles and opinions in this publication are for general information only, are subject to change, and are not intended to provide specific investment, legal, tax or other advice or recommendations. The information contained herein reflects the thoughts and opinions of the noted authors only, and such information does not necessarily reflect the thoughts and opinions of Comerica or its management team. We are not offering or soliciting any transaction based on this information. We suggest that you consult your attorney, accountant or tax or financial advisor with regard to your situation. Although information has been obtained from sources we believe to be reliable, neither the authors nor Comerica guarantee its accuracy, and such information may be incomplete or condensed. Neither the authors nor Comerica shall be liable for any typographical errors or incorrect data obtained from reliable sources or factual information.

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Comerica Bank’s Florida Index Unchanged | April 2018

April 26, 2018 by Robert A. Dye, Ph.D., Daniel Sanabria

Comerica Bank’s Florida Economic Activity Index was unchanged in February at a level of 114.3. February’s index reading is 16 points, or 16 percent, above the index cyclical low of 98.5. The index averaged 113.1 in 2017, one and two-fifths points above the average for all of 2016.

The Comerica Bank Florida Economic Activity Index was unchanged in February following three consecutive monthly gains from November through January. The sub-indexes were mixed in February. Five of the nine sub-indexes were positive in February. They were nonfarm payroll employment, unemployment insurance claims (inverted), house prices, industrial electricity demand and sales tax revenues. The four negative sub-indexes for February were housing starts, state total trade, hotel occupancy and total enplanements. We expect our Florida Index to continue to improve in 2018. Florida job growth started the year at a faster pace than in 2017, averaging 19,000 net jobs per month in the first three months of the year. Hotel occupancy is expected to stabilize and turn positive as we move further into the year. The three consecutive monthly declines in the Florida hotel occupancy sub-index are most likely signaling a renormalization following the spike in hotel demand in the aftermath of last year’s hurricanes. The demand for Florida housing remains strong, however supply is tight. According to Florida Realtors, the months’ supply of single-family homes for sale was 3.8 months in March. The factors that have been leading to tight supply, such as a shortage of construction workers, rising material prices, and limited credit availability, are expected to persist. Declining affordability through rising mortgage rates and higher house prices may also be a limiting factor for the Florida housing sector in 2018.

For a PDF version of this report click here: FL-Index-0418.

The articles and opinions in this publication are for general information only, are subject to change, and are not intended to provide specific investment, legal, tax or other advice or recommendations. The information contained herein reflects the thoughts and opinions of the noted authors only, and such information does not necessarily reflect the thoughts and opinions of Comerica or its management team. We are not offering or soliciting any transaction based on this information. We suggest that you consult your attorney, accountant or tax or financial advisor with regard to your situation. Although information has been obtained from sources we believe to be reliable, neither the authors nor Comerica guarantee its accuracy, and such information may be incomplete or condensed. Neither the authors nor Comerica shall be liable for any typographical errors or incorrect data obtained from reliable sources or factual information.

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Comerica Bank’s Florida Index Increases | March 2018

March 28, 2018 by Robert A. Dye, Ph.D., Daniel Sanabria

Comerica Bank’s Florida Economic Activity Index rose by 0.2 percent in January to a level of 114.3. January’s index reading is 16 points, or 16 percent, above the index cyclical low of 98.5. The index averaged 113.1 in 2017, one and two-fifths points above the average for all of 2016. December’s index reading was revised to 114.0.

The Comerica Bank Florida Economic Activity Index increased again in January, now up for the third consecutive month. The sub-indexes were mixed for the month. Five of the nine sub-indexes were positive in January including nonfarm payroll employment, unemployment insurance claims (inverted), housing starts, house prices, and sales tax revenues. The four negative sub-indexes for the month were industrial electricity demand, state total trade, hotel occupancy and total enplanements. We continue to see strength in the Florida labor market. The nonfarm payrolls sub-index for Florida has improved every month since October 2010 with one exception, last September, in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Florida unemployment insurance claims have shown some volatility over the last year, but overall claims remain near historical lows. Another important factor for the state economy is population growth. Positive labor market conditions are pulling prospective workers into the state. Also, Florida remains a top retirement destination amongst baby boomers. According to the Census Bureau, both the Orlando–Kissimmee-Sanford and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan areas were amongst the top 10 U.S. major metropolitan areas for population growth in 2017. We expect to see ongoing population growth this year, leading to sustained demand for housing and consumer goods and services.

For a PDF version of this report click here: FL-Index-0318.

The articles and opinions in this publication are for general information only, are subject to change, and are not intended to provide specific investment, legal, tax or other advice or recommendations. The information contained herein reflects the thoughts and opinions of the noted authors only, and such information does not necessarily reflect the thoughts and opinions of Comerica or its management team. We are not offering or soliciting any transaction based on this information. We suggest that you consult your attorney, accountant or tax or financial advisor with regard to your situation. Although information has been obtained from sources we believe to be reliable, neither the authors nor Comerica guarantee its accuracy, and such information may be incomplete or condensed. Neither the authors nor Comerica shall be liable for any typographical errors or incorrect data obtained from reliable sources or factual information.

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Comerica Bank’s Florida Index Rebounds | December 2017

February 28, 2018 by Robert A. Dye, Ph.D., Daniel Sanabria

Comerica Bank’s Florida Economic Activity Index rose by 0.4 percent in December to a level of 114.2. December’s index reading is 16 points, or 16 percent, above the index cyclical low of 98.5. The index averaged 113.2 in 2017, one and one-half points above the average for all of 2016. November’s index reading was 113.7. 

The Comerica Bank Florida Economic Activity Index improved again in December after turning positive in November. Hurricane Irma was a damper on the Florida economy last fall. Our Florida State Index was flat in September and then dipped in October. However, the recent gains in the index are signaling renewed momentum, which we believe will continue through the first half of 2018. In December, seven out of nine state economic indicators were positive. They were nonfarm employment, housing starts, house prices, industrial electricity demand, total state trade, sales tax revenues and enplanements. Only unemployment insurance claims and hotel occupancy were negatives. The Florida economy is increasingly driven by endogenous growth, that is to say, growth that comes from within the state. However, outside factors are still very important including net migration, the net flow of residents into and out of the state. The official Census Bureau net migration data for Florida shows some loss in net migration during the Great Recession, but it is inconclusive. However, data from the IRS and from Atlas Van Lines show a more volatile pattern. That data shows net migration into Florida surged in 2005 and 2006 before the housing market collapse. It turned negative generally from 2007 through 2010, and then turned positive again after 2010. The migration data from the 2020 census numbers will be very important for grounding the outlook for Florida.

For a PDF version of this report click here: FL_Index_0218

The articles and opinions in this publication are for general information only, are subject to change, and are not intended to provide specific investment, legal, tax or other advice or recommendations. The information contained herein reflects the thoughts and opinions of the noted authors only, and such information does not necessarily reflect the thoughts and opinions of Comerica or its management team. We are not offering or soliciting any transaction based on this information. We suggest that you consult your attorney, accountant or tax or financial advisor with regard to your situation. Although information has been obtained from sources we believe to be reliable, neither the authors nor Comerica guarantee its accuracy, and such information may be incomplete or condensed. Neither the authors nor Comerica shall be liable for any typographical errors or incorrect data obtained from reliable sources or factual information.

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Comerica Bank’s Florida Index Rebounds

February 1, 2018 by Robert A. Dye, Ph.D., Daniel Sanabria

Comerica Bank’s Florida Economic Activity Index rose by 0.3 percent in November to a level of 113.7. November’s index reading is 15 points, or 15 percent, above the index cyclical low of 98.5. The index averaged 111.7 in 2016, two points above the average for all of 2015. October’s index reading was 113.4.

The Comerica Bank Florida Economic Activity Index improved in November. This is the first monthly increase following the September and October stall in economic activity due to Hurricane Irma. Seven of the nine indicators were positive in November, including nonfarm payrolls, housing starts, house prices, state total trade, hotel occupancy, total enplanements and sales tax revenues. Unemployment insurance claims (inverted) and industrial electricity demand were negative. Florida economic activity picked up where it left off last summer, supported by strong job gains. Florida payrolls were up 2.5 percent in 2017, making it the fifth fastest growing state labor market in the U.S. Every private subsector saw job gains in 2017 except for Florida’s energy sector which was flat for the year. Ongoing growth in construction jobs is a positive signal, showing increasing activity in the state’s important construction sector. Florida single-family housing markets remain tight, in part because construction was impeded by a shortage of skilled labor. Many former construction workers were forced to leave the sector following the post -financial crisis downturn in the housing sector. Recent construction employment data has been erratic because of Hurricane Irma. We expect to see ongoing growth in single-family construction projects this year. Multifamily construction will likely remain lackluster until absorption in key condo markets catches up with new supply.

For a PDF version of this report click here: FL_Index_0118

The articles and opinions in this publication are for general information only, are subject to change, and are not intended to provide specific investment, legal, tax or other advice or recommendations. The information contained herein reflects the thoughts and opinions of the noted authors only, and such information does not necessarily reflect the thoughts and opinions of Comerica or its management team. We are not offering or soliciting any transaction based on this information. We suggest that you consult your attorney, accountant or tax or financial advisor with regard to your situation. Although information has been obtained from sources we believe to be reliable, neither the authors nor Comerica guarantee its accuracy, and such information may be incomplete or condensed. Neither the authors nor Comerica shall be liable for any typographical errors or incorrect data obtained from reliable sources or factual information.

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Comerica Bank’s Florida Index Stabilizes

January 3, 2018 by Robert A. Dye, Ph.D., Daniel Sanabria

Comerica Bank’s Florida Economic Activity Index was unchanged in October at a level of 113.4. October’s index reading is 15 points, or 15 percent, above the index cyclical low of 98.5. The index averaged 111.7 in 2016, two points above the average for all of 2015. September’s index reading was revised to 113.4.

The Comerica Bank Florida Economic Activity Index was unchanged in October after easing slightly in September. It looks like the flattening in the index over the last two months is related to Hurricane Irma, which soaked Florida in early September. In October, the positive contributors to the Florida Index were payroll employment, house prices, total state trade, hotel occupancy and enplanements. The negative factors were unemployment insurance claims (inverted), housing starts, industrial electricity demand and sales tax revenues. Housing starts, in particular, were weak in September and October. This was at least partially related to the hurricane. As of August 2017, the Florida Index was running about 1.4 percent ahead of year -ago levels, consistent with solid economic growth. By October, that fell to a 1.0 percent year-over-year gain. We expect to see the Florida Index regain momentum at yearend and into early 2018 as the hurricane clean-up effort continues and U.S. and international economic conditions improve. Overbuilding dampened prices in the Florida condo market this year, especially in Miami. This will continue to be a weight on multifamily construction into 2018. Single-family home prices will be supported by a strong state economy and tight supply through early 2018. Gradually rising mortgage rates through 2018 is a risk for the Florida economy as housing affordability erodes.

For a PDF version of this report click here: FL_Index_1217

The articles and opinions in this publication are for general information only, are subject to change, and are not intended to provide specific investment, legal, tax or other advice or recommendations. The information contained herein reflects the thoughts and opinions of the noted authors only, and such information does not necessarily reflect the thoughts and opinions of Comerica or its management team. We are not offering or soliciting any transaction based on this information. We suggest that you consult your attorney, accountant or tax or financial advisor with regard to your situation. Although information has been obtained from sources we believe to be reliable, neither the authors nor Comerica guarantee its accuracy, and such information may be incomplete or condensed. Neither the authors nor Comerica shall be liable for any typographical errors or incorrect data obtained from reliable sources or factual information.

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Comerica Bank’s Florida Index Flattens

December 5, 2017 by Robert A. Dye, Ph.D., Daniel Sanabria

Comerica Bank’s Florida Economic Activity Index was unchangedin September at a level of 113.6. September’sindex reading is 15 points, or 15 percent, above the indexcyclical low of 98.5. The index averaged 111.6 in 2016,one and nine-tenths points above the average for all of2015. August’s index reading was 113.6.

The Comerica Bank Florida Economic Activity Indexflattened in September. Florida economic activity slowedconsiderably as Hurricane Irma pounded the state in earlySeptember. Nonfarm payrolls declined by 116,700 in Septemberwith major losses in the hotel and restaurant, administrativeand waste management, and constructionindustries. This was reversed in October when payrollswere up 125,300, with most industries making a strongrecovery from September losses. The September Floridaindex components were mostly negative as expected.Three out of nine sub-indexes were positive, including unemploymentinsurance claims (inverted), house prices andhotel occupancy. Six out of nine sub-indexes were negativefor the month. They were nonfarm payrolls, housingstarts, industrial electricity demand, total state trade,state sales tax revenue and enplanements. While hurricanescan be disasters at the time of the event, the recoveryfrom hurricanes can boost economic activity. We expectFlorida to recover quickly from Hurricane Irma. However,the impact of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico will beprofound and long lasting, with implications for Florida.Those who evacuated Puerto Rico may opt to stay stateside,particularly in Florida, which is experiencing a strongeconomy. The migration of thousands of Puerto Ricans toFlorida will boost demand for housing and support localbusinesses.

For a PDF version of this report click here: FL_Index_1117

The articles and opinions in this publication are for general information only, are subject to change, and are not intended to provide specific investment, legal, tax or other advice or recommendations. The information contained herein reflects the thoughts and opinions of the noted authors only, and such information does not necessarily reflect the thoughts and opinions of Comerica or its management team. We are not offering or soliciting any transaction based on this information. We suggest that you consult your attorney, accountant or tax or financial advisor with regard to your situation. Although information has been obtained from sources we believe to be reliable, neither the authors nor Comerica guarantee its accuracy, and such information may be incomplete or condensed. Neither the authors nor Comerica shall be liable for any typographical errors or incorrect data obtained from reliable sources or factual information.

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Comerica Bank’s Florida Index Shows Gains

October 31, 2017 by Robert A. Dye, Ph.D., Daniel Sanabria

Comerica Bank’s Florida Economic Activity Index increased again by 0.2 percent in August to a level of 113.6. August’s index reading is 15 points, or 15 percent, above the index cyclical low of 98.5. The index averaged 111.6 in 2016,  one and nine-tenths points above the average for all of 2015. July’s index reading was 113.4. 

The Comerica Bank Florida Economic Activity Index increased again in August. This marks an outstanding 94 consecutive months without a decline, emblematic of the state’s consistent strong economic expansion since the Great Recession. The last monthly dip in the Florida Index came in October 2009. This August, six out of nine sub-indexes were positive for the  month. They were nonfarm payrolls, house prices, total state trade, hotel occupancy, state sales tax revenues and enplanements. The three declining sub-indexes for August were unemployment insurance claims (inverted), housing starts and industrial electricity demand. It looks like Hurricane Irma may break the winning streak for Florida. September payrolls dipped by a sizeable 127,400 jobs. Unemployment insurance claims increased and both residential and commercial construction projects were delayed. Nonetheless, we expect Florida economic data to show a re-accelerating state economy quickly. Hurricanes are usually positive economic events for Florida as dollars for rebuilding and repair circulate through the state economy. An exception to that rule may come if hurricanes discourage in-migration to the state. We do not expect that to happen as a result of Irma. Tampa-area house prices were up 6.8 percent in August over the previous 12 months, stronger appreciation than the U.S. average. Miami was below average at 4.9 percent, showing  some drag from the over-supplied condo market.

For a PDF version of this report click here: FL_Index_1017

The articles and opinions in this publication are for general information only, are subject to change, and are not intended to provide specific investment, legal, tax or other advice or recommendations. The information contained herein reflects the thoughts and opinions of the noted authors only, and such information does not necessarily reflect the thoughts and opinions of Comerica or its management team. We are not offering or soliciting any transaction based on this information. We suggest that you consult your attorney, accountant or tax or financial advisor with regard to your situation. Although information has been obtained from sources we believe to be reliable, neither the authors nor Comerica guarantee its accuracy, and such information may be incomplete or condensed. Neither the authors nor Comerica shall be liable for any typographical errors or incorrect data obtained from reliable sources or factual information.

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Comerica Bank's Florida Index Dips

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

Comerica Bank’s Florida Economic Activity Index decreased by 0.3 percentage points in April to a level of 164.4. April’s index reading is 86 points, or 110 percent, above the index cyclical low of 78.1. The index averaged 155.4 in 2016, seventeen and one-fifth points above the average for all of 2015.
March’s index reading was 164.8. “The Comerica Bank Florida Economic Activity Index dipped

in April, breaking a long string of monthly gains. Revised economic data now show that the Florida Index increased for the 36 consecutive months prior to April. In April we see some softening of the state economy as only three out of eight index components were positive. They were unemploymet insurance claims (inverted), hotel occupancy and enplanements. State exports declined in April,
as did housing starts and sales tax revenues. House prices and nonfarm employment were both neutral in April. Job growth in the state is easing, but it remains well above the U.S. average. Florida payrolls were up by 2.6 percent over the 12 months ending in April,” said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. “Tampa area house prices were up 5.0 percent in April over the previous year, a little below the U.S. average of 5.5 percent growth.”

For a PDF version of the Florida Economic Activity Index click here:  Florida_Index_0617.pdf

 

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Comerica Bank’s California Index Improves

January 31, 2017 by Daniel Sanabria

Comerica Bank’s California Economic Activity Index grew by 0.9 percentage points in November to a level of 126.3. November’s reading is 42 points, or 50 percent, above the index cyclical low of 84.1. The index averaged 119.8 points for all of 2015, six and two-fifths points above the average for all of 2014. October’s index reading was 125.5.

“Our California Economic Activity Index was up again in November, its 10th consecutive monthly increase. Gains were broad-based. Six out of eight index components were positive, including nonfarm employment, unemployment insurance claims (inverted), defense spending, home prices, hotel occupancy and technology stock prices. Housing starts eased for the month, as did state exports. Job growth in the state has been faster than the national average, with November employment up 2.3 percent over the previous 12 months. Steady job creation brought the state unemployment rate down to 5.3 percent in November, still above the U.S. average of 4.6 percent for the month. Even though the state’s unemployment rate remains above the U.S. average, labor market conditions are getting tight, putting upward pressure on wages. Wage pressure is also being stoked by the January 1st increase in the state’s minimum wage to $10.50 per hour,” said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. “Northern California real estate markets cooled in the second half of 2016, but San Francisco home prices were still up 5.3 percent in November, compared with a year earlier.”

For a PDF version of the  California Economic Activity Index click here: California_Index_0117.

 

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Comerica Bank’s Florida Index Increases for the Third Consecutive Month

January 31, 2017 by Daniel Sanabria

Comerica Bank’s Florida Economic Activity Index grew in November, up by 2.4 percentage points to a level of 159.3. November’s index reading is 81 points, or 104 percent, above the index cyclical low of 78.1. The index averaged 138.2 in 2015, twenty and seven-tenths points above the average for all of 2014. October’s index reading was 156.9.

“The Comerica Bank Florida Economic Activity Index climbed in November, continuing its upside breakout after stalling through the middle of 2016. Gains were broad-based, with six out of eight index components positive, including nonfarm employment, unemployment insurance claims (inverted), housing starts, home prices, hotel occupancy and enplanements. State exports eased in November, as did sales tax receipts. Job growth in Florida remains well above the national average, registering a 3.2 percent increase in the 12 months ending in November. That has brought Florida’s unemployment rate down in line with the national average. Tight labor markets and the statewide increase in Florida’s minimum wage, to $8.10 an hour, effective January 1, will put some upward pressure on wages this year,” said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. “Real estate prices are generally firm, especially in Tampa, where home prices were up 8.1 percent in November from a year earlier.”

 

For a PDF version of the Florida Economic Activity Index click here: Florida_Index_0117.

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