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Comerica Bank’s Florida Economic Activity Index went unchanged in April at a level of 115.7.



Comerica Bank's Florida Index Flattens

June 27, 2019
By Robert A. Dye, Ph.D., Daniel Sanabria

Comerica Bank’s Florida Economic Activity Index went unchanged in April at a level of 115.7. April’s index reading is 17 points, or 17 percent, above the index cyclical low of 98.5. The index averaged 114.8 in 2018, 1.7 points above the average for all of 2017. March’s index reading was 115.7.

The Comerica Bank Florida Economic Activity Index was unchanged in April and has now been flat for the last two months. Five of the nine components were positive in April. They included nonfarm employment, unemployment insurance claims (inverted), house prices, industrial electricity demand and state sales tax revenues. The four negative components in April were housing starts, state total trade, hotel occupancy and total enplanements. Our Florida Index is showing less momentum in the Florida economy heading into Q2. While some of the underlying index components are coming off of recent highs, such as hotel occupancy and enplanements, many of the index components remain above year ago levels. This is consistent with an ongoing economic expansion for Florida in 2019. Bolstering growth in the state have been solid job gains through May of this year. One cautionary note for the Florida economy in 2019 are the mixed signals coming out of the state’s housing sector. The good news is that home sales have steadily improved after a winter slump. According to Florida Realtors, new single-family home sales were up 6.2 percent year-over-year in April and 9.6 percent in May. However, homebuilders are being more cautious as Florida housing starts have declined for three consecutive months from February to April. Lower mortgage rates will be a tailwind for the state’s housing sector heading into the summer.

For a PDF version of this report, please click here: Comerica Bank’s Florida Index Flattens

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