Comerica Bank’s New Texas Index Increases

The Comerica Bank Texas Economic Activity Index increased for the second consecutive month in July, following a small dip in May. The improvement in the July index pre-dates the devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey on the people and businesses of South Texas. Hurricane Harvey made landfall near Rockport, Texas on August 26 as a Category 4 hurricane. Because Hurricane Harvey struck Texas late in August, some economic metrics for the state for the month of August will not reflect the full impact of the storm. The major disruptive force of the storm in Texas came from flooding in the Houston area following record-breaking rainfall. Houston is a major industrial center and so it was feared that the flooding could have significant economic consequences for the state. While the flooding in and around Houston was extremely disruptive, and caused scores of fatalities, major industry has already shown remarkable resilience. Petrochemical plants and refineries are coming back online quickly. We expect to see some evidence of disruption from Hurricane Harvey in our August and September Texas Indexes. We also expect to see a net positive contribution to the Texas economy from the recovery and repair effort that is already well underway. Rebuilding effects should be visible in the regional and state level economic data in the fourth quarter of this year and into 2018.

The Texas Economic Activity Index consists of eight variables, as follows: nonfarm payrolls, exports, hotel occupancy rates, continuing claims for unemployment insurance, housing starts, sales tax revenues, house prices, and the Baker Hughes rotary rig count. 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 is a subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA), the largest U.S. commercial bank headquartered in Texas, strategically aligned by three business segments: The Business Bank, The Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. Comerica focuses on relationships, and helping people and businesses be successful. In addition to a local banking center network throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Kerrville, Texas, Comerica Bank locations can be found in Arizona, California, Florida and Michigan, with select businesses operating in several other states, as well as in Canada and Mexico.

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SOURCE Comerica Bank

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About the Author: Bob Cooper

Bob Cooper is Canadian Business Tribune''s senior editor. He is also a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist and a bestselling author. He lives in London Ontario and covers the intersection of money, politics and finance. He appears periodically on national television shows and has been published in (among others) The National Post, Politico, The Atlantic, Harper’s,, Vice and He also has served as a journalist and consultant on documentaries for CBC and Global News . In 2014, he was the winner of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers' investigative journalism award, and the winner of the Izzy Award for Journalism from Ithaca College's Park Center for Independent Media. He was also a finalist for UCLA's Gerald R. Loeb Award and Syracuse University's Mirror Award. Before becoming a journalist in 2006, Sirota worked in Washington for, among others, U.S. Rep. Bernie Sanders, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee Minority Staff and the Center for American Progress.