Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Philly Fed: Leading index for Colorado lags nation, most states

The Philadelphia Fed released its June Leading Index for the 50 states and the nation today. Colorado's index value was 0.0, putting it behind 33 states with higher index values, and behind the US's leading index value of 1.01

The Philly Fed's Leading Index is "a six-month forecast of the state coincident indexes." The most recent analysis of Colorado's coincident index value can be found here.

The coincident index is a general measure of economic activity based on a variety of factors. The leading index is a prediction of future growth in the coincident index (based on salary, employment and housing info), and as of June, Colorado places in the bottom half of states according to the index. 

As can be seen in the graph, Colorado's leading index was occasionally higher than the national index in recent years and has tended overall to track closely with the national index. The Colorado index has fallen below the national index recently, however, signalling that Fed analysts see potential obstacles to economic growth in Colorado.

In short: The Philly Fed's report indicates that the Fed predictionf of economic growth in Colorado has turned negative recently, and if correct, the index signals that Colorado will be lagging the nation in economic growth over the next six months. Indeed, with an index number of zero, the Philly Fed is saying that it expects the coincident index to be flat in Colorado over the next six months.