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Is the Economy Improving on the State Level?

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Below is a snapshot of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's Coincident Indexes for the U.S. Wait, the what? That's right, the Coincident Indexes. Despite the bizarre name, the concept is fairly simple: take four state-level indicators and condense them into a single statistic to summarize current economic conditions. The indicators are nonfarm payroll employment, average hours worked in manufacturing, the unemployment rate, and wage and salary disbursements deflated by the consumer price index.

Some notable nuggets from the report:
  • In the past month, the indexes increased in 33 states, decreased in nine, and remained unchanged in eight for a one-month diffusion index of 48.
  • Over the past three months, the indexes increased in 35 states, decreased in 13, and remained unchanged in two (Alaska and Alabama) for a three-month diffusion index of 44. 
  • For comparison purposes, the Philadelphia Fed has developed a similar coincident index for the entire United States. In November, it was 150.4. It increased 0.1 percent in November, 0.4 percent over the past three months, and 1.9 percent over the past 12 months.

The full report is here.
Meanwhile, perhaps you are more of a "leading indicator" type? Here is the Philadelphia Fed's Leading Indicator snapshot from this past October, a six-month forecast.

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