Comerica Bank's California Index Ticking Up

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Comerica Bank's California Economic Activity Index grew by 0.8 percentage points in July to a level of 121.7. July's reading is 38 points, or 45 percent, above the index cyclical low of 84.1. The index averaged 119.8 points for all of 2015, six and two-fifths points above the average for all of 2014. June's index reading was 120.9.

"The Comerica Bank California Economic Activity Index increased again in July, its fourth consecutive gain. Five out of eight index sub-components were positive for the month, including payroll jobs, state exports, unemployment insurance claims (inverted), housing starts and the NASDAQ 100 Tech Stock Index. In July, the state added a relatively weak 18.6 thousand jobs, but job growth bounced back in August. Real estate markets in Northern California are cooling relative to their overheated state over the last few years. According to the Case-Shiller data, house prices in San Francisco eased by 0.1 percent in July, but are still up by 6.1 percent over the previous year. Cooler real estate markets in Northern California will let some froth out of the market, pre-empting a larger correction later," said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. "Los Angeles house prices gained 0.2 percent in July and are up by 5.5 percent over the last year."

The California Economic Activity Index consists of eight variables, as follows: nonfarm payrolls, exports, hotel occupancy rates, continuing claims for unemployment insurance, housing starts, national defense spending, home prices, and the NASDAQ-100-Technology Sector Index (NDXT). All data are seasonally adjusted, as necessary, and indexed to a base year of 2008. Nominal values have been converted to constant dollar values. Index levels are expressed in terms of three-month moving averages.

Comerica Bank, with 102 banking centers in the key California markets of San Francisco and the East Bay, San Jose, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Fresno, Sacramento, Santa Cruz/Monterey, and the Inland Empire, is a subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA). Comerica is a financial services company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and strategically aligned into three major business segments: the Business Bank, the Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. Comerica focuses on relationships and helping businesses and people be successful.

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