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California economy remains steady, index says

October 4, 2010 | 11:28 am

The California economy was little changed in August, according to an economic activity index released Monday by Comerica Bank. The index was at 104 in August, five points above the average for 2009 and two points above the August 2009 level. The index benchmark, 100, is 2008.

The index weighs nine seasonally adjusted factors, including activity in the manufacturing, tourism, travel and trade sectors, job growth and consumer spending.

"The index has been cycling sideways for about a year now," said Dana Johnson, chief economist at Comerica Bank.

Weakness in exports and nonfarm payrolls was counteracted by some gains in retail sales, tourism and port trade, he said. California's budget troubles remain a downside for the state's economic future, he said.

Strength in the national economy indicated that the "rough patch" in the economy might be ending, he said.

"There's a national recovery that's going to continue," he said, and "it will put the wind [at California's] back."

-- Alana Semuels

Photo: Tourism at parks like Disneyland has lent some strength to the state's economy. Credit: Don Sullivan via Flickr