Comerica Bank’s Florida Index Levels Off

Robert A. Dye, Ph.D.


Daniel Sanabria

A high rise building next to a beach

Comerica Bank’s Florida Economic Activity Index was unchanged in March at a level of 114.3.

Comerica Bank’s Florida Economic Activity Index was unchanged in March at a level of 114.3. March’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. February’s index reading was 114.3.

The Comerica Bank Florida Economic Activity Index was unchanged again in March, and has now recorded a reading of 114.3 for the past three months. Six of the nine components were positive in March including nonfarm payroll employment, unemployment insurance claims (inverted), housing starts, house prices, industrial electricity consumption and total enplanements. The three negative components for the month were state total trade, hotel occupancy and sales tax revenues. Holding down the overall Florida Index has been a four month slide in hotel occupancy. This is consistent with a renormalization back to the pre-Hurricane Irma and Maria trend as individuals displaced by the storms move off of FEMA assistance. The slow recovery in Puerto Rico will continue to motivate outward migration from the island over to the mainland. So while demand for hotels is declining now, we expect to see an increase in demand for housing in the state’s major metropolitan areas going forward. State total trade has also been a drag on our Florida Index in recent months as both imports and exports remain below late 2017 highs. Trade is a wildcard for the Florida economy in 2018. After the Trump Administration announced new tariffs on Canada, Canada announced counter-tariffs which included imported orange juice, motor boats and other products that are produced in Florida. 

Florida Economic Activity Index

Explanatory Note:

The Florida Economic Activity Index consists of nine variables, as follows: nonfarm payroll employment, continuing claims for unemployment insurance, housing starts, house price index, industrial electricity sales, total trade, hotel oc-cupancy, sales tax revenue and total enplanements. All data are seasonally adjusted. Nominal values have been con-verted to constant dollar values. Index levels are expressed in terms of three-month moving averages.

In addition to Boca Raton, East Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Naples, Palm Beach Gardens, Singer Island, and Welling-ton Fla., Comerica (NYSE: CMA) locations can be found in its headquarters state of Texas, as well as in Arizona, Califor-nia and Michigan, with select businesses operating in several other states, as well as in Canada and Mexico.

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For a PDF version of this report click here: Comerica Florida Index

The articles and opinions in this publication are for general information only, are subject to change, and are not intended to provide specific investment, legal, tax or other advice or recommendations. The information contained herein reflects the thoughts and opinions of the noted authors only, and such information does not necessarily reflect the thoughts and opinions of Comerica or its management team. We are not offering or soliciting any transaction based on this information. We suggest that you consult your attorney, accountant or tax or financial advisor with regard to your situation. Although the information has been obtained from sources we believe to be reliable, neither the authors nor Comerica guarantee its accuracy, and such information may be incomplete or condensed. Neither the authors nor Comerica shall be liable for any typographical errors or incorrect data obtained from reliable sources or factual information.

June 4, 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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