California Economic Activity Index Drops

By | December 1, 2011

DALLAS, Dec. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Comerica Bank’s California Economic Activity Index dropped in September, falling two points to a level of 100.  September’s reading is six percent above the index cyclical low of 94.  Year-to-date the index has averaged 102, two points below the 104 average for all of 2010.

“The California economy continues to struggle for traction, shown by the slide in our California Index through 2011,” said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. “Slow-to-moderate job growth this year has helped to broaden the state’s economic base. However, the state has a long way to go before it regains its pre-recession peak employment. California’s unemployment rate of 11.7 percent in October was higher than any other state except Nevada. Silicon Valley is hiring aggressively but that has little impact on the state’s large base of lower skilled workers. Housing market activity remains very weak in many areas and represents a large and fundamental drag on the state’s economy. Manufacturing activity for high tech firms is starting to cool after a strong rebound through 2010.”

The California Economic Activity Index equally weighs nine, seasonally-adjusted coincident indicators of real economic activity.  These indicators reflect activity in the manufacturing, travel and trade sectors, as well as job growth and consumer outlays.  The Index levels represent a three-month moving average, used to smooth monthly volatility.  The Index is benchmarked so that 2008 equals 100.

Comerica Bank, with 104 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.

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