Michigan Economy Improves In December

DETROIT — Comerica Bank’s Michigan Economic Activity Index saw a bounce back in December, rising 1.7 points to a level of 102.7.

The December index reading is 43 points, or 71 percent, above the index cyclical low of 59.9, reached at the bottom of the last recession.

The index averaged 103 for all of 2012, 12 points above the index average for full-year 2011.

“Although the Michigan index saw an uptick in its December level, to 102.7, the index is still more than five points off of its recent July peak of 107.8,” said Comerica chief economist Robert Dye. “Index components for December were mostly weak, with only motor vehicle production and sales tax revenues notching positives for the month. Auto sales remained solid through January, even as other consumer spending suffered from increased federal taxes. Looking ahead, Michigan remains vulnerable to reduced federal spending, as well as slower growth in the manufacturing sector compared with earlier in the recovery cycle.”

The Michigan Economic Activity Index consists of seven variables: 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, whose economic activity is equal to 100 on the index. Current values have been converted to constant dollar values. Index levels are expressed in terms of three-month moving averages.

To receive this Index directly to your email inbox, go to www.comerica.com/econsubscribe to subscribe.

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