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Economy in Brief

State Coincident Indexes in May
by Charles Steindel  June 29, 2021

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's state coincident indexes in May showed increased divergence in the pace of recovery across the nation. In the three months ending in May two states (Alaska and Wyoming) registered declines, and 13 others had increases of less than 1 percent. Hawaii, though, grew nearly 5 percent over that period, as tourism began to revive, and 5 more states had gains of more than 3 percent. However, the state gains appear to be typically more robust than the comparable national figure, which showed an increase of only 1.4 percent (30 states—including New York, California, and Texas—had larger increases).

Over the 12 months ending in May all states registered gains, but again the range was enormous—from West Virginia's staggering 95.6 percent to New Mexico's modest 4.1 percent. A total of 37 states had double-digit increases. Again, the national figure (a 7.7 percent increase) was simply inconsistent with the state numbers. At the least, this suggests careful examination of any state that might proudly point that it grew “faster” than the nation (47 did, but surprisingly, not Texas—one may have thought recovery from February's power outages would have boosted recent gains in its index).

44 states reported increases in their indexes from April to May. 10 had increases above 1 percent, led by Hawaii's 1.7 percent. The only notable decline was the .5 percent drop in Ohio. 13 states set new record highs for their indexes; these were mainly small and medium-sized states, generally in the Plains and Rockies, but Georgia and North Carolina are in the group.

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