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Economy in Brief

State Coincident Indexes in June
by Charles Steindel  July 23, 2020

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's state coincident indexes show considerable disparity. Two states (Utah and Arkansas) actually saw increases from March to June. On the other side, the figures for Hawaii and Massachusetts fell more than 40 percent over that period. A total of 33 states had declines of more than 10 percent. Rather remarkably, over the year ending in June, 3 states (Utah, Arkansas, and Idaho) saw gains, but those 40+ percentage drops were there for Hawaii and Massachusetts. From May to June indexes fell in 7 states—4 in the Northeast (once again, Massachusetts, joined by New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut). 12 states—led by Michigan's whopping 23.9 percent—had increases above 10 percent (Hawaii's index rose 23.3 percent in June, which suggests just how truly staggering its drop was earlier).

The broad geographic pattern suggests conditions have recently been worst in the Northeast and somewhat better than in the West. Of course, the Northeast, though afflicted very badly early on, has seen substantial improvement in COVID measures. With the intensifying outbreaks in much of the rest of the nation it could be that the regional pattern of activity could change in the coming months.

Once again, the state measures are dramatically at odds with the national reading (computed using the same methodology). The national index fell 5 percent from March to June, and 4.2 percent from June 2019 to June 2020. Very few state readings were better than that (the only exception of any weight is Texas's 2.5 percent fall over the last three months).

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