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Economy in Brief

State Coincident Indexes in April
by Charles Steindel  May 27, 2020

The April results for the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's state coincident indexes were as horrid as one would expect. Only 4 states (Arizona, Georgia, Texas, and Nebraska) had one-month declines smaller than 10 percent (Arizona's was 5.5 percent); 8 had drops larger than 30 percent (Michigan was down 44.2 percent). Three-month results were comparable. On its web site the Bank puts up a map illustrating the three-month results. States with declines larger than 1 percent are shown in red, and that is what one sees—all 50 in red.

There is an oddity, though, about the results. There is a separate index for the nation as a whole compiled using the same data and techniques as for each state. The national index fell 12 percent from March to April, which was noticeably better than state norms. Only 8 states had declines less than that; the 4 noted above, as well as Colorado, Florida, Wyoming, and Mississippi. Of course, Texas and Florida are 2 of the 4 largest states, and Georgia is also big, but given the huge declines elsewhere a national drop of as “little” as 12 percent was surprising. In the current environment, though, the margins of error in both state and national results may be much larger than in ordinary times.

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