DETROIT— Comerica Bank’s Michigan Economic Activity Index increased by four points in February, spiking to a level of 102. The February index level is 42 points, or 70 percent, above the index cyclical low of 60. February marks the highest index reading since April 2005. Year-to-date the index has averaged 100 points, nine points above the index average for all of 2011.
“Our Michigan Economic Activity Index has broken sharply higher, showing rapid gains in the Michigan economy in early 2012. We are seeing broad-based gains in economic activity, showing that the revitalization of the auto industry is having a fundamental positive impact on the state economy,” said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. “Threats to the Michigan economy are still visible in the form of challenging global macroeconomic conditions and expected cuts in federal defense spending. Recently softer U.S. economic data is not expected to significantly impair domestic auto sales.”
The Michigan 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 motor vehicle production. All data are seasonally adjusted, as necessary, and indexed to a base year of 2004. Nominal values have been converted to constant dollar values. Index levels are expressed in terms of three-month moving averages.