Economics Dept.: Michigan Economy Ticks Down in May

Comerica Bank’s Michigan Economic Activity Index fell one point in May, ticking down to a level of 87. The May index level is 16 points, or 23 percent, above the cyclical index low of 71.

May’s level is three points above the average for all of 2010.

Strong state payroll growth and increased auto production drove the Michigan Economic Activity Index up over the first quarter of 2011. Michigan nonfarm payrolls declined in both April and May. A combined significant monthly drop in April auto production, likely due to Japanese disaster related supply-chain disruptions, held the index down in April and May. As these headwinds dissipate, the local economy should begin showing more strength against a background of moderate national expansion.

The Michigan Economic Activity Index equally weighs nine, seasonally adjusted coincident indicators of real economic activity. These indicators reflect activity in the construction, manufacturing and service sectors as well as job growth and consumer outlays.

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