Comerica Bank's Florida Index Is Up Again

Robert A. Dye, Ph.D.


Daniel Sanabria

City skyline of Sarasota, Florida during the day

Comerica Bank’s Florida Economic Activity Index increased 0.1 points in May to a level of 114.5.

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.

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August 1, 2018
Robert A. Dye, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at Comerica Bank

Robert A. Dye, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President and Chief Economist
Daniel Sanabria, Senior Economist at Comerica Bank

Daniel Sanabria

Senior Economist

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