DALLAS, Feb. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's Arizona Economic Activity Index ratcheted up in December, rising 3.4 percentage points to a level of 93.3. The December index reading is 22 points, or 31 percent, above the index cyclical low of 71.0. The index averaged 87 points for all of 2012, nine points above the average for full-year 2011. November's index reading was unrevised.
"December marks the seventh consecutive monthly gain in our Arizona index, which is now at its highest point since October 2008, and up nearly 17 percent over the previous 12 months. Employment in Arizona grew 2.1 percent in 2012, 0.4 percent higher than the national rate, while Phoenix-area home prices notched their 15th consecutive increase in December," said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. "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. To receive this index directly to your email inbox, go to www.comerica.com/econsubscribe to subscribe. Follow us on Twitter @Comerica_Econ. SOURCE Comerica Bank