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Economy in Brief

State Coincident Indexes in September
by Charles Steindel  October 28, 2020

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's state coincident indexes continued to be remarkably mixed in September, but still on an uptrend. 11 states saw an increase of 10 percent or more in the three months since June, led by Massachusetts' gain of nearly 32 percent. In contrast, 2 states saw their indexes drop since June and 3 others—including Texas—had gains of less then 1 percent. Once again, the reported national increase of only 2.3 percent is at odds with the state results (California and Florida also had marked gains, though less striking than New York).

Over the last year, Utah, Nevada, and Georgia saw modest increases in their indexes, while all other states dropped, with Hawaii's 32.2 percent being far and away the largest. Aside from Massachusetts, 3 other large Northeastern states had double-digit gains: New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. From August to September 8 states fell, with Hawaii experiencing a shocking 5.5 percent drop. On the other side, Kentucky and Massachusetts both roe 7.8 percent. As was the case for the three-month move, large Northeastern states also did well in August-September, again including New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania in that group.

The latest report suggests that recovery in the Northeast has been most recently been stronger than most of the rest of the nation; this may reflect in part that area lagging in reopening (and so lagging in the surge connected with that) than elsewhere. However, given the still uncertain path of the economy, complicated by the latest surge in cases, it is hard to draw any conclusions about the underlying trends in state and local divergences.

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