Comerica Bank’s Arizona Economic Activity Index climbed slightly in April, rising 0.2 percentage points to a level of 95.0. The April index reading is 23.7 points, or 33 percent, above the index cyclical low of 71.3. The index averaged 87.2 points for all of 2012, 8.7 points above the average for full-year 2011.
“Our Arizona Index increased in April reflecting the turnaround in residential real estate conditions in the Phoenix area,” said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. “Home prices have increased on a month-to-month basis for 20 consecutive months through this past April. On a year-ago basis, Phoenix area home prices are up 21.5 percent. That is providing positive incentive for home buyers and builders. It is also increasing homeowners’ wealth, which translates into stronger overall consumer activity. 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.