Effective with the release of the January 2021 state coincident indexes, the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia implemented a change to its methodology by restricting the sample period for the estimation process from 1978 to 2019. This change was necessitated because of the severe economic impact of the pandemic on 2020 economic data. The change, which is still in effect, is outlined in the Changes to Methodology document below. For more information, please contact Tosmai Puenpatom.
State Coincident Indexes
The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia produces a monthly coincident index for each of the 50 states. The indexes are released a few days after the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) releases the employment data for the states. The Bank issues a release each month describing recent trends in the state indexes, with special coverage of the three states in the Third District: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.
The coincident indexes combine four state-level indicators to summarize current economic conditions in a single statistic. The four state-level variables in each coincident index are nonfarm payroll employment, average hours worked in manufacturing by production workers, the unemployment rate, and wage and salary disbursements deflated by the consumer price index (U.S. city average). The trend for each state’s index is set to the trend of its gross domestic product (GDP), so long-term growth in the state’s index matches long-term growth in its GDP.
A dynamic single-factor model is used to create the state indexes. James Stock and Mark Watson developed the basic model for constructing a coincident index for the U.S. Theodore Crone and Alan Clayton-Matthews adapted the basic model for the states. The method involves a system of five major equations: one equation for each input variable and one equation for an underlying (latent) factor that is reflected in each of the indicator (input) variables. The underlying factor represents the state coincident index. The model and the input variables are consistent across the 50 states, so the state indexes are comparable to one another.
Last updated: May 25, 2022, 10:00 AM EST
Data Sources & Methodology
Nonfarm payroll employment, the unemployment rate, average hours worked in manufacturing, and the consumer price index are obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Wages and salary disbursements (a component of personal income) and gross domestic product by state are obtained from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Changes to Methodology: Describes changes to the creation of the state coincident index. (Last update: April 2, 2021)
Errata: Shows corrections to the historical data (Last update: May 23, 2018)
Crone, Theodore M., and Alan Clayton-Matthews. “Consistent Economic Indexes for the 50 States,” Review of Economics and Statistics, 87 (2005), pp. 593-603.
Crone, Theodore M. "A New Look at Economic Indexes for the States in the Third District," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia (November/December 2000).
Crone, Theodore M. "What a New Set of Indexes Tells Us About State and National Business Cycles," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia (First Quarter 2006).
Novak, Jason. "Marking NBER Recessions with State Data," Research Rap Special Report, April 2008
Stock, James H., and Mark W. Watson. “New Indexes of Coincident and Leading Economic Indicators,” NBER Macroeconomics Annual (1989), pp. 351-94.