Flat growth


    Comerica Bank’s Michigan Economic Activity Index improved one point on a preliminary basis in June, to a level of 73. Compared to a year earlier, the Index is down 13 points, marking the ninth straight month of double-digit year-on-year declines.

    June’s reading denotes the longest string of such declines, making the current contraction in Michigan the worst in post-war history, according to the Index. Year-to-date, the Index has averaged 73, down 14 points from the 2008 average.

    “The Michigan economy continues to show signs of stabilization, albeit at a considerably depressed level,” said Dana Johnson, chief economist at Comerica Bank, in a news release.

    “While our Index has struggled against weakness in the auto sector over the first half of the year, it got a considerable boost from Michigan auto sales in June. Given the incredible increase in national sales from the government’s Cash-for-Clunkers program in late July and early August, along with the possibility of its extension by $2 billion, our Index will likely signal an improvement in the state economy over the next several months.”

    The Michigan Economic Activity Index equally weights nine, seasonally adjusted coincident indicators of real economic activity. These indicators reflect activity in the construction, manufacturing and service sectors, as well as job growth and consumer outlays.

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