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Economy in Brief

State Coincident Indexes in January
by Charles Steindel  April 2, 2021

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's state coincident indexes in January show a wide range of variation in the extent of recovery. In the three months ending in January 48 states showed gains (the exceptions were Maine and New Mexico). Hawaii and Michigan registered very rapid gains (these are not annualized) of more than 10 percent. 17 other states saw their indexes increase more than 2 percent. In contrast, 5 states experienced growth under 1 percent. The 24 remaining states grew between 1 and 2 percent—a pace suggesting a decent, but not spectacular, recovery. It's still the case, even after recalibration of the indexes to incorporate rebenchmarked state labor data (and some other changes) that the national index, rising only .9 percent from October to January, is utterly unrepresentative of state outcomes (New York was the only very large state whose index was anywhere close to the nation's).

Over the 12 months ending in January the indexes in Idaho, Utah, and Georgia rose. West Virginia's index fell 19 percent, and 5 other states—mainly in the Northeast, including New York and Massachusetts—saw drops of more than 10 percent. Smaller declines were more evident in Mountain and Plains states, while larger drops were more likely in the Northeast and Middle West.

Movements in the indexes from December to January were comparable to the 3-month changes: West Virginia joined New Mexico and Maine on the negative side, while Michigan's 9.4 percent surge was far and away on top. 18 other states—including Hawaii—joined Michigan in seeing strong increases of more than 1 percent. 3 states—including New York—had meager rises of less than .25 percent.

The January release is out at this "late" date because of the standard late release of January state labor market data. The February release will be issued on April 9.

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