Matt Roush| CBS Detroit
DETROIT — Comerica Bank’s Michigan Economic Activity Index surged ahead by 2.0 points in July, rising to a level of 107.9, its highest level since 2002.
The July index reading is 48 points, or 88 percent, above the index cyclical low of 59.9 reached at the bottom of the last recession.
The index has averaged 103 points so far in 2012, 12 points above the index average for all of 2011.
“The Michigan economy accelerated rapidly this summer, driving our Michigan Economic Activity Index up a total of 5.9 points from May through July. July marks the highest reading for the Michigan economy since November 2002,” said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. “Job creation picked up again in July, while housing markets are showing signs of improvement with sales and prices increasing. August U.S. vehicle sales picked back up to a 14.5 million unit rate and that is encouraging.”
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.