Comerica Bank’s California Index Climbs

DALLAS, June 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Comerica Bank’s California Economic Activity Index increased in March to a level of 108.0. March’s…

DALLAS, June 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Comerica Bank’s California Economic Activity Index increased in March to a level of 108.0. March’s reading is 17 percent above the historical low of 92.7 set in June 2020. The index averaged 107.8 points in 2020, 18.9 points below the average for all of 2019. February’s index reading was revised to 106.1.

Our California Economic Activity Index rose again in March. This marks the ninth consecutive monthly gain after revisions to historical data showed activity in January rose modestly. Seven of the nine index components were positive in March including nonfarm employment, unemployment insurance claims (inverted), house prices, state total trade, hotel occupancy, enplanements and state revenues. Housing starts and industrial electricity demand declined for the month. The California Index is gaining momentum after a soft start to 2021 when most regions were under stricter social mitigation restrictions. Rising vaccination rates and significantly lower case counts are allowing for a broader reopening of the California economy this spring. This resulted in stronger hiring in recent months. Even with a net job loss in January, California has managed to add 310,300 jobs in the first four months of 2021. The state remains in a jobs recession, but we expect it to make up ground this summer as demand for key service sectors rebounds. Travel related activity is already ticking up as enplanements improved through April. California hotel occupancy rates also hit a 13-month high in April. Rising household incomes from fiscal stimulus and wage recovery is also a strong positive for consumer spending this summer. However, supply disruptions, with longer delivery times and rising prices, will be a limiting factor to consumer spending in 2021.

The California 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 occupancy, enplanements and state revenues. All data are seasonally adjusted. Nominal values have been converted to constant dollar values. Index levels are expressed in terms of three-month moving averages.

Comerica Bank is a subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA), a financial services company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and strategically aligned by three business segments: The Commercial Bank, The Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. Comerica focuses on relationships, and helping people and businesses be successful. In addition to Texas, Comerica Bank locations can be found in Arizona, California, Florida and Michigan, with select businesses operating in several other states, as well as in Canada and Mexico. Comerica reported total assets of $86.3 billion at March 31, 2021.

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