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Economy in Brief

State Coincident Indexes
by Charles Steindel  September 27, 2019

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank's estimates of state coincident activity for August show some increased dispersion and, overall, some signs of softening in economic growth. Over the last 12 months, 29 states show increases in their index in the 2 to 4 percent range—down from counts over 30 in that middle group in recent months. 7 states were at 4 percent or higher; 14 were lower than 2 percent, with Michigan reporting a decline. Western states were again generally stronger than the east; with Nevada at the top, with a 4.7 percent gain. Two large Eastern states—Georgia and Florida—did report growth of 3.5 percent. The weaker states tended to be in the middle portion of the nation, though New York was also in that group.

Over the three months ending in August, 24 states had gains of less than .5 percent, with 45 declines, with Kentucky's index down nearly 1 percent over that period. 14 states, though, had gains of 1 percent or more; these were in a wide swath literally from Maine to California (and with Alabama in the group just touching a southern border). Montana was again the state with the highest growth in this category. Its 2.48 percent increase was virtually the same as the preliminary 2.49 percent rise in its index reported for the April-July period

Montana also, (again) had the largest one-month increase in the initial results for August. 8 states saw declines (the initial report for July had 12 in this category), with drops of 2 percent or more in Delaware, Wyoming, and Kentucky.

The upshot from this survey is comparable to other recent reports. Growth is continuing, but with a fair number of states seeing cooling-off, and fewer showing extremely rapid growth. In the very largest states, Texas, California, and Florida still report strong numbers, though none of them were in the very top group; however, the figures from New York have been soft.

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