DALLAS, April 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank's California Economic Activity Index declined in February, down 1.1 percentage points to a level of 109.0. February's reading is 36 points, or 50 percent, above the index cyclical low of 72.7. The index averaged 106 points for all of 2013, five points above the average for all of 2012. January's index reading was unchanged at 110.1.
"Our California Economic Activity Index declined in February, reflecting the hangover from softer economic conditions this winter. Most components of the index were positive for February, indicating that the overall series will turn north again soon. Drought conditions are hurting the agricultural sector, and the state's important defense industry is feeling the drag from federal spending cuts. However, most other sectors of the California economy are on a moderate improvement track supported by a strong high-tech sector and climbing house prices," said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. "We continue to expect the California economy to improve through 2014." 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 subscribe to our publications or for questions, contact us at ComericaEcon@comerica.com. Archives are available at http://www.comerica.com/economics. Follow us on Twitter: @Comerica_Econ. Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20010807/CMALOGO SOURCE Comerica Bank