Even Michigan's Showing Signs of Recovery: 4th Monthly Increase in Economic Activity Index
Comerica Bank's Michigan Economic Activity Index improved two points in September, to a level of 79. September's reading marks the fourth consecutive monthly increase in the Index, which moved to its highest level since December 2008. Compared to its May low, the Index is now up 10 points, or 14.5 percent. August's level was revised from 78 to 77.
As expected, the Michigan car sales component of our Index declined sharply in September due to the expiration of the cash-for-clunkers program, however, surging auto and steel production fully offset the drop in vehicle sales," said Dana Johnson, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. "Overall, five components were up, two were unchanged, and two were down in September. Over the next several months, as other sectors of the Michigan economy are bolstered by improving national trends, our Index will likely continue to trend higher."
Related WSJ article:
U.S. auto sales last month delivered more concrete signs the economy is on the mend. Excluding July and August, when sales were boosted by cash-for clunkers rebates, October sales hit the highest rate of 2009—the mid 10-million range on a seasonally adjusted basis.
Replenished inventories helped car makers deliver better results than September's anemic 9.2 million rate. Many cars and trucks were in short supply in September due to the clunkers sales and major production cuts earlier in 2009 by many auto makers.
"The economy is in transition from recession to recovery," Ford chief economist Emily Kolinski Morris said on a conference call with analysts and reporters.