DALLAS, Oct. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's California Economic Activity Index grew in August, increasing 0.6 percentage points to a level of 104.6*. August's reading is 32 points, or 44 percent, above the index cyclical low of 72.7. The index averaged 101 points for all of 2012, three points above the average for all of 2011. July's index reading was revised down from 104.4 to 104.0.
"Our California Index improved in August, as five of the eight component series increased. However, there is a technical factor worth noting that impacts our California Index. Unemployment insurance claims in California have been underreported in recent weeks due to problems with the state's computer systems. We expect to see a worsening of the state's unemployment insurance claims as the technical problems are fixed and this could be a drag on our index in coming months," said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. "Other labor market indicators for California continue to improve, supported by firming real estate markets."
*State level exports data have not been reported for August due to the federal government shut-down. We estimated an August export number in order to calculate the total index.The California Economic Activity Index consists of eight variables, as follows: nonfarm payrolls, exports, sales tax revenues, hotel occupancy rates, continuing claims for unemployment insurance, building permits, Baker Hughes rotary rig count and the Silicon Valley 150 Index (SV150). 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 105 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. 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 at @Comerica_Econ.