Arizona's economy in April hit its highest level since December 2008, with activity outpacing the nation, according to a report last week from Comerica Bank.

Robert Dye, chief economist at Comerica, said the index of seven variables rose 1.1% in April to 85.4. The index is 20% higher than its recent low of 71 in 2009.

The seven variables considered in the bank's economic activity index include sales tax revenues, hotel occupancy, exports, building permits, and non-farm payrolls. The variables are indexed to 2008 levels. The Comerica index hit a high of 170 in 2006.

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