Comerica Bank’s Michigan Tourism Index was flat in the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to the third quarter, at a level of 93. 

The fourth quarter reading is up six points, or 7 percent, from the cyclical index low of 87 at the depths of the recent recession. 

The index averaged 92 points for all of 2010, up two points from the index average for all of 2009. 

“Our Index provided mixed results in the fourth quarter, with gains in hotel occupancy and casino revenues offset by weaker passenger air traffic,” said Dana Johnson, chief economist at Comerica Bank.  “Households and businesses are gradually become more willing to increase their discretionary spending as they sense the economy is experiencing a sustained, moderate expansion. Looking ahead, our Index should perform modestly better over the next several quarters, particularly if the state starts growing fast enough to begin generating increases in jobs.”

The Michigan Tourism Index is a quarterly summary of six equally weighted, seasonally adjusted travel, lodging and entertainment data series. These series serve as a proxy for statewide tourism activity.

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