Comerica Bank’s Michigan Business Activity Index declined two points on a preliminary basis in May, to a level of 72. Compared to a year earlier, the index is down 19 points, making May the eighth month for double-digit year-on-year declines. This ties the index record for such declines, with the only other eight-month string of double-digit declines occurring during the severe 1958 recession. Year-to-date the index has averaged 73, down 14 points from the 2008 average.
“Consistent with broader trends in the national economy, our Index shows that the Michigan economy appears to be stabilizing at a depressed level,” said Dana Johnson, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. “However, the Michigan economy is struggling against significant weakness in auto sales and auto production that is outpacing typical seasonal patterns in that sector. This weakness will likely persist for at least the next several more months, as painful adjustments necessitated by the GM and Chrysler’s bankruptcy filings are implemented.”
The Michigan Business 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. Historical data is available upon request.
Comerica Inc. (NYSE: CMA) is a financial services company headquartered in Dallas, Texas. In addition to 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, China and Mexico. Comerica reported total assets of $67.4 billion as of March 31, 2009.