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Comerica Bank’s Texas Economic Activity Index grew 0.1 percent in April to 137.5.



Comerica Bank's Texas Index Improves

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

Comerica Bank’s Texas Economic Activity Index grew 0.1 percent in April to 137.5. April’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. March’s index reading was revised to 137.3.

The Comerica Bank Texas Economic Activity Index improved for the fourth consecutive month in April. It has increased for 11 out of the last 13 months. The April gain of 0.1 percent is consistent with ongoing economic expansion at the start of the second quarter. For the year ending in April, the Texas Index is up by 3.2 percent, which can be considered a reasonable first guess for state real GDP growth over the 12 month period. For April, results were mixed. Five out of nine components were positive, while four were negative. The positive components were nonfarm employment, unemployment insurance claims (inverted), industrial electricity demand, hotel occupancy and state sales tax revenue. The negative components were housing starts, house prices, drilling rig count, and total state trade. Housing markets appear to be cooling nationwide and Texas will feel some drag. But steady job growth, consistent positive in-migration to the state and lower mortgage rates will help to support local housing markets. Oil prices have eased heading into early summer and that will be a dampening force on drilling activity. However, U.S. crude oil and refined product exports are increasing and that is good news for Texas. Also the consolidation we are seeing in the state’s energy sector will help to stabilize the economic impact of fluctuating oil prices. Infrastructure development in West Texas will remain on track even with slightly lower oil prices.

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

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