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Economy in Brief

State Coincident Indexes in March
by Charles Steindel  April 23, 2021

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's state coincident indexes in March show widespread recovery, though with some choppiness. In the three months ending in March the indexes for 49 states increased (Delaware inched down). Michigan surged up more than 10 percent; 21 other states were up more than 2 percent. Only 7 states (including Delaware) had increases of less than 1 percent. The national gain of 1.6 percent over this period seemed reasonably representative of the state numbers, in contrast to recent experience.

Over the 12 months ending in March a dozen states recorded gains. Almost surely 12-month increases will become universal in April (comparable to the “base period” situation for price indexes). 4 states—Connecticut, West Virginia, Massachusetts, and Hawaii—had declines of more than 10 percent. Comparable to the 3-month change, 49 states saw increases from February to March, with Delaware again the outlier. There were no remarkably large gains (North Dakota's 1.5 percent was the largest).

The formula for computing these indexes is, most likely, not fully incorporating March's large payroll employment increase; in part for technical reasons, but also because at the state level job gains were reported as less strong than the headline national number (the sum of the state increases was somewhat less than the national one).

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