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Economy in Brief

State Coincident Indexes in March
by Charles Steindel  April 22, 2020

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank has issued estimates of state coincident indexes for March, and the results are truly ugly. The Bank's release shows a map illustrating three-month changes, and it is largely a frightening field of red. Three-month changes seem a bit academic at this point. Looking at the changes from February it's a bit surprising to see 14 states coming in with upticks—arguably a reflection of the plunge only so far lasting one month, so it's possible those small gains will not be there when April information comes in. Alaska and Hawaii had the largest increases.

24 states had one-month declines larger than 1 percent, with West Virginia down an astonishing 5.2 percent, Kentucky off 4.5 percent, and Nevada dropping 4.4 percent. In the very largest states, California fell more than 2 percent—surely a reflection of its early lockdown—Florida was off 1.6 percent—the delay locking down there didn't prevent the shrinkage of travel (clearly evident in Nevada's collapse) dragging the state down, notwithstanding the large news coverage of spring break—New York was down 1.5 percent, and even Texas fell a marked .9 percent; larger than the national figure of .5 percent, likely heavily affected by the fall-off in energy extraction and refining.

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