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Economy in Brief

State Coincident Indexes
by Charles Steindel  October 30, 2019

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank's estimates of state coincident activity for September were rather comparable to August's initial estimates, though fewer states appear to be growing very rapidly. Over the last 12 months, 32 states show increases in their index in the 2 to 4 percent range—up slightly from the initial August count of 29 in that range. Only 3 states report growth above 4 percent (Utah, Nevada, and Alabama),compared to 7 in that first August report. Michigan was again the only state to see a 12-month decline in its index. Growth appears to have been a bit more uniform across the nation; four Eastern states were in the top ten (Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts joining Alabama in that group). Once again, states in the middle of the nation tended to report weaker group; New York, however, with a modest 1.5 percent gain was also toward the low end.

Over the three months ending in September, 18 states had gains of less than .5 percent, with 7 declines, with, as was the case in August, Kentucky reporting the largest decline. 11 states had gains of 1 percent or more, scattered across the nation and including Florida and California. Alabama had far and away the largest gain, at 2 percent, perhaps in some connection with the start of the college football season!

South Carolina had the largest index gain from August to September (a good sign for Clemson?); 8 states report declines, with the largest in North Dakota—the next two weakest states were also small energy producers (West Virginia and Wyoming).

Once again, the Philadelphia indexes show fewer instances of very rapid growth, and scattered signs of softness. Three of the four largest states continue to grow strongly (California's 12-month gain was 3.3 percent), but New York has been soft.

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