DALLAS, March 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's Arizona Economic Activity Index climbed in January, rising 1.9 percentage points to a level of 95.2. The January index reading is 24 points, or 34 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. December's index reading was unrevised.
"Our Arizona Index increased for the eighth straight month in January, now at its highest point since September 2008," said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. "Home prices notched their 16 th consecutive increase in the first month of 2013, up more than 21 percent year-over-year in January. Payroll employment dipped slightly in January, following strong gains in November and December. 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