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Economy in Brief

State Coincident Indexes
by Charles Steindel  January 29, 2020

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank's estimates of state coincident activity for December indicate increased divergence in activity across the nation. Over the last 12 months, 27 states report increases in their indexes in the 2 to 4 percent range, which is a fairly modest count. None, though, report declines (Iowa was lowest, with a .6 percent gain). Utah had, by a strong margin, the largest gain, with its 6.3 percent rise more than a point above Alabama's hefty 5.2 percent. Among the very largest states, Texas was up 3.9 percent, and both California and Florida rose 3.5 percent, but New York trailed badly at 1.5 percent. In general, as was the case for payroll employment, the lower-performing states tended to be in the Northeast, Middle West, and elsewhere along in the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys. States in the West and Southeast tended to be stronger.

Over the three months ending in December 21 states had gains of less than .5 percent, with 10 seeing declines. Delaware and West Virginia saw drops of more than 1 percent, while Pennsylvania was also negative, and New York's gain was less than .2 percent. 12 state had gains above 1 percent in this period, with both Utah and South Carolina seeing increases greater than 2 percent. California, Texas, and Florida had increases of nearly 1 percent.

Nevada had the highest gain from November to December, while 11 states registered declines. West Virginia's index fell .5 percent, and Pennsylvania's loss was nearly as large.

The upshot is that growth appears to be sluggish for many states in the Northeast and in the central portions of the nation, but noticeably more vigorous elsewhere.

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