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Economy in Brief

State Coincident Indexes in November
by Charles Steindel  December 24, 2020

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's state coincident indexes in November show increasing divergence in performance. While 5 states saw increases of 10 percent or more in the three months since August (Massachusetts remained in the lead, with a gain of more than 20 percent), 24 states had increases under 5 percent, with Arizona showing an outright decline. Yet again, the national index, up only 1.5 percent was completely unrepresentative of the aggregated state figures (though Texas's increase was a meager 1 percent, the other very large states were above the national figure).

Over the last 12 months 9 states—all except Georgia on the small side—avoided negative moves in their indexes (Vermont was unchanged, the other 8 had increases). Hawaii was yet again the weakest state, with a decline of more than 20 percent percent; Maryland's 9.9 percent drop ranked 49th. New York—down 9 percent—was the weakest of the very large states. 43 states saw their indexes grow from October to November, with Hawaii's 12.4 percent gain being the largest (putting this in context with Hawaii's decline gives a grim idea of the size of the state's peak to trough drop in activity). On the other side, Connecticut's index fell 4 percent, which appears to be mainly a correction from an unusually large increase in October.

In recent months, 6 states have set new record highs in their indexes (Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, and Utah), though in some the November reading was off a bit from the mark. Many states, though, remain way below their peaks.

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