DETROIT — Comerica Bank’s Michigan Economic Activity Index rose seven points in January, up to a level of 98. The January index level is 38 points, or 63 percent, above the index cyclical low of 60 at the bottom of the last recession.
January marks the highest index reading since January 2006, and it is seven points above the index average for all of 2011.
“A rebounding U.S. auto industry drove our Michigan Economic Activity Index sharply higher in January, after stalling in late 2011,” siad Robert Dye, chief economist at Comerica Bank. “Every component of the Michigan index increased in January, a sign that the recovery in Michigan is reaching beyond the revitalized auto industry and into the non-manufacturing sectors of the state economy. Threats to the Michigan economy are still visible in the form of cooler global macroeconomic conditions, higher energy prices and expected cuts in federal defense spending. However, these headwinds are not expected to reverse the state’s recent hard-fought gains.”
The Michigan Economic Activity Index consists of seven variables, as follows: nonfarm payrolls, exports, sales tax revenues, hotel occupancy rates, continuing claims for unemployment insurance, building permits, and motor vehicle production. All data are seasonally adjusted, as necessary, and indexed to a base year of 2004. Nominal values have been converted to constant dollar values. Index levels are expressed in terms of three-month moving averages.
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