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Economy in Brief

State Coincident Indexes
by Charles Steindel  December 27, 2018

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank's estimates of state coincident activity in November shows further signs of converging growth across the nation. 32 states have seen gains between 2% and 4% over the last 12 months. Florida, with an increase of 4.04%, was the only one of the four largest states to see growth outside that range. The outliers are comparable to those reported for October, with New Mexico seeing the largest increase (6.3%), and Hawaii very near the bottom with a .5% gain (Maine was a tad softer than Hawaii, showing that geographic extremes can sometimes report comparable figures).

Over the 3 months ending in November 23 states recorded increases from .5% to .98%; rates consistent with 12-month growth of 2% to 4%. The faster-growing states were to some extent a geographic medley, including two (Florida and New York) of the very largest states. Interestingly, most New England states were also in this category—though the rapid growth reported for New Hampshire and Rhode Island is doubtlessly related to spillovers from advances in the Boston area, while Connecticut's sharp gain could be related to growth in New York (New Jersey's increase was a bit short of 1%). In any event, the strength in the Northeast is further confirmation that national growth is no longer a byproduct of gains in the West. On the low side, Hawaii, Maine, and North Dakota registered declines in this period.

The last monthly tick (October-November) shows, again, Hawaii, Maine, and North Dakota (joined by Pennsylvania) on the negative side. 8 states (Massachusetts, Maryland, Kansas, Oklahoma, Delaware, Vermont, South Dakota, and New Hampshire) has increases of .5% or higher. It seems like conditions have been strong in the Plains and for Boston-area commuters; perhaps the latter case shows that World Series victories do provide general economic benefits!

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