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Comerica Bank’s Texas Economic Activity Index grew 0.2 percent in March to 137.2.

Comerica Bank's Texas Index Up Again

May 29, 2019
By Robert A. Dye, Ph.D., Daniel Sanabria

Comerica Bank’s Texas Economic Activity Index grew 0.2 percent in March to 137.2. March’s index reading is 42 points, or 44 percent, above the index cyclical low of 95.5. The index averaged 134.5 points for all of 2018, 5.6 points above the average for 2017. February’s index reading was revised to 137.2.

The Comerica Bank Texas Economic Activity Index ticked up in March, registering its third consecutive monthly gain. The last time that the Texas Index declined was in July 2018. Over the last 12 months, the headline index is up 3.6 percent. The year-over-year gain appears to be on an improving trend after bottoming out in late 2018. In March, six out of nine index components were positive. They were nonfarm payrolls, house prices, industrial electricity demand, total state trade, hotel occupancy and state sales tax revenue. The negative factors were unemployment insurance claims (inverted), housing starts and the rig count. The strong performance of the Texas Index over the past two-and-a-half years indicates that the state has good momentum both in and out of the energy industry. Energy is a key economic driver for the state, but the majority of Texas economic activity is not directly related to the energy sector. We expect the state to continue to attract businesses and to attract new workers. We estimate population growth for the state to be around 1.4 percent this year, about double the national average pace. Strong demographic momentum will remain a tailwind for the state’s non-energy economy and spur growth in “people” industries. An example of that growth is seen in DFW Airport’s recent announcement that it will add a sixth terminal with 24 new gates as early as 2025.

For a PDF version of this report, click here: Comerica Bank’s Texas Index Up Again

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