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Comerica Bank’s Michigan Economic Activity Index increased 0.2 percent in April to a level of 117.9.

Comerica Bank's Michigan Index Ticks Up

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

Comerica Bank’s Michigan Economic Activity Index increased 0.2 percent in April to a level of 117.9. April’s reading is 20 points, or 20 percent, above the index cyclical low of 97.9. The index averaged 118.4 points for all of 2018, 0.1 points above the index average for 2017. March’s index reading was 117.7.

Comerica Bank’s Michigan Economic Activity Index increased for the third consecutive month in April. We remain cautious in our view of the Michigan economy despite the recent upward movement of the Michigan Index. The index value of 117.9 for April is little changed from where it was in June 2016, indicating a loss of momentum in the Michigan economy over the last three years, after accelerating strongly coming out of the Great Recession. Further, we can say that in the 28 months since January 2017, our Michigan Index has increased just 10 times. In April, results were mixed. Four out of nine index components were positive. They were housing starts, house prices, total state trade and state sales tax revenue. Three components were negative. They were unemployment insurance claims (inverted), industrial electricity demand and light vehicle production. Nonfarm employment and hotel occupancy were unchanged for the month. The U.S. auto industry was buoyed by stronger-than-expected sales in May, which increased to a 17.4 million unit annual rate. But strains are apparent in the auto industry, particularly at the global level. Ford has announced a significant cutback in Europe. Ford intends to close 5 production facilities there and sell one more and eliminate some 12,000 jobs globally, including non-production jobs.

For a PDF version of this report, please click here:  Comerica Bank’s Michigan Index Ticks Up

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