Thursday, March 18, 2010

State of the Union: Coincident Indexes for the 50 States January 2010

The latest “Coincident Indexes for the 50 States” release from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia indicated overall weakness in economic activity in January with 23 states showing declines, 19 showing increases and 8 remaining unchanged.

That compares slightly more favorably to the latest three month results of 31 declining states, 15 increasing and four unchanged.

The worst showing was West Virginia with a month-to-month decline of 1.39% and a decline of 13.43% on a year-over-year basis.

The best, yet very volatile showing was from Louisiana which increased 0.66% on a month-to-month basis but still remained 2.33% below the level seen in January 2009.

The national index indicated that economic activity increased 0.08% since December 2009 but remained 2.82% below the level seen in January 2009.

The coincident indices are formulated from four state level indicators (nonfarm payrolls, unemployment rate, average hours worked in manufacturing and wages and salary disbursements deflated by the CPI) giving essentially a time-series summary of the current general economic conditions of each state.


  1. dagger11:36 AM

    In the past, that index flattens and then slowly starts to rise at the end of each recession. And it looks like that now.

    If so, even a jobless debt-ridden recovery is better than recession.

  2. dagger11:46 AM

    I wonder if someday we'll look back at these years as the time when Psychology and Sociology became as important as Economics for setting monetary policy.

    When are we gonna get some Psychologists at the Fed?

  3. HA!!

    I think you are right... we need a Chief Shrink...

    Economics certainly looks much less science and much more social science thought this whole debacle.

    All the tried and true economic mechanics seems like wishful thinking and government policy has essentially been focused on acts that are intended to build confidence even fool the mechanics.

    I think though its not likely that this whole epic crescendo was fundamentally solved by government tomfoolery... we may be seeing a recovery but we saw something similar in the wake of the dot-com bust but it eventually all eroded ... it was mostly just trumped up... it was phony... at least that's how I read it.

    Today's conditions are really conflicted .. people want the economy to heal ... they want prosperity but at the same time they likely don't want to accept the pain associated with really getting the job done.

    So I think this means we collectively lie to ourselves (i.e. that government employing huge sums of debt solved the epic economic decline caused by too much debt and malinvestment) and go about our business... we trade, day trade even, look to scap-up deals on housing assets... create more layers of financialization, government sponsored and otherwise... nothing has been really learned.

    So we may be on the mend but who knows for how long.

  4. Dagger you said it right in the past years we have found that Psychology and Sociology has been emerged one of the critical issue and now are most important topics in the world.