Comerica Bank’s Arizona Economic Activity Index increased by 0.9 percentage points in September, rising to a level of 87.7. The September index reading is 17 points, or 24 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. August’s index reading was unrevised at a level of 86.8.
“The Arizona economy expanded for the fourth straight month in September, as shown by our Arizona Economic Activity Index. Job gains are strengthening the foundation of our index, as Arizona job growth continues to outpace that of the nation. Phoenix home prices have increased every month for the 12 months through September,” 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,