DALLAS, Nov. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's Arizona Economic Activity Index increased by 0.5 percentage points in August, rising to a level of 86.8. The August index reading is 16 points, or 22 percent, above the index cyclical low of 71.0. Year-to-date the index has averaged 85 points, seven points above the average for all of 2011. July's index reading was revised down 0.5 percentage points, to 86.3.
"The Arizona economy continued to expand in August, as shown by our Arizona Economic Activity Index. Job growth in Arizona has outpaced that of the nation this year. Phoenix home prices have increased every month for the past 11 months. During that period, area home prices have risen 17.2 percent, after adjusting for inflation," said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. "The recovery in home prices and in residential construction is providing broad support to nearly all aspects of the state economy. We expect to see further improvement to the Arizona economy in the months ahead."
The Arizona 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 the Case-Shiller home price index. 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 operates 18 full-service banking centers throughout the Phoenix/ Scottsdale area. In addition to Arizona, Comerica locations can be found in its headquarters state of Texas, as well as in California, Florida and Michigan, with select businesses operating in several other states, as well as in Canada and Mexico. To find Comerica on Facebook, please visit www.facebook.com/ComericaCares. Follow Comerica Chief Economist Robert Dye on Twitter at @Comerica_Econ. To receive this index directly to your email inbox, go to www.comerica.com/econsubscribe to subscribe.