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State-level GDP losses during the pandemic

Mapping the range of economic decline across the U.S.

FRED has the latest state-level GDP data for 2020, and there’s a range of economic decline across the United States.

This GeoFRED map shows regional differences in how state economic growth has been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak—from 8% declines in Nevada and New York to a 1.3% slump in Nebraska.

What determines how a state’s economy is affected? This question is complex, as it depends on many factors: the severity of the outbreak, how much confinement was mandated, how seriously it was followed, how many people voluntarily restrained their activity, and the prevalence of economic activities that are most susceptible to shutdowns. Obviously, tourism and entertainment were most affected—with Nevada and Louisiana being important states in this respect and Nebraska much less so.

The situation is still evolving. In about three months, FRED will have data for the second quarter and the map could look very different, hopefully with at least some states showing growth.

How this map was created: The original post referenced an interactive map from our now discontinued GeoFRED site. The revised post provides a replacement map from FRED’s new mapping tool. To create FRED maps, go to the data series page in question and look for the green “VIEW MAP” button at the top right of the graph. See this post for instructions to edit a FRED map. Only series with a green map button can be mapped.

Suggested by Christian Zimmermann.

Net worth losses in early 2020 were larger at the top

Your net worth is the difference between the value of your assets and the value of your liabilities.

On average, changes in household net worth are driven by changes in the value of financial assets. And these types of assets differ across classes of household wealth: The least wealthy hold assets mostly in the form of housing and consumer durables, while the wealthiest hold assets through financial vehicles or stakes in businesses.

The FRED graph above shows how the onset of the current economic recession has affected each group differently. Each bar represents the quarter-to-quarter percent change in net worth by wealth quantile. Throughout 2019, net worth increased for all four wealth classes of households. During the first quarter of 2020, net worth decreased for all classes of households but was most marked for the wealthiest 1%. The high volatility of financial markets, which peaked in late March, likely explains this phenomenon.

How this graph was created: From FRED’s main page, browse data by “Release.” Search for “Distributional Financial Accounts” and click on “Levels of Wealth by Wealth Percentile Groups.” From the table, select the “Total Net Worth” series held by each of the four wealth quantiles and click “Add to Graph.” Change the graph units by editing line 1, selecting “Units: Percent change” and clicking “Copy to All.” Last, edit the graph’s format by selecting “Graph type: Bars” and choosing colors to taste.

Suggested by Diego Mendez-Carbajo.

View on FRED, series used in this post: WFRBLB50107, WFRBLN09053, WFRBLN40080, WFRBLT01026

New to FRED: Manufactured home prices

Single and double wide data!

FRED has just added data from the U.S. Census Bureau for an additional type of real estate: manufactured homes. This market is separate from and smaller than the more popular and widely watched single-family homes market, but the price data for manufactured homes have several interesting characteristics.

First, manufactured homes are more uniform than other homes. For example, single-family homes come in a variety of sizes, they have tended to become larger over time, and the size composition of single-family home sales may vary from one period to another. Manufactured homes come in two standard sizes, single and double, and separate statistics are collected for each.

Second, the price of manufactured homes includes only the house—that is, the land is not part of it. This should make the price more informative. However, the market for manufactured homes is thinner, which makes measurements less precise and thus more volatile.

The graph above compares the prices of manufactured homes (single and double) with two popular single-family home price indexes. It’s striking that their trends are quite similar, despite the differences noted above. It’s a coincidence, though, that the levels of the single-family home price indexes line up with the manufactured home series. (In the graph, the value 100 could be any year.) It’s also clear, as noted above, that the price of manufactured homes is more volatile, as the market is likely too thin.

How this graph was created: Start from the release page for manufactured homes, click on the link to the release table with prices, check the two national series, and click “Add to Graph.” From the “Edit Graph” panel, use the “Add Line” tab to search for “house price” and select the S&P/Case-Shiller National series and then the All-Transaction House Price Index. From the “Format” tab, make sure the scale for these series is on the right. Finally, restrict the sample to start when all data are available.

Suggested by Christian Zimmermann.

View on FRED, series used in this post: CSUSHPINSA, SPDNSAUS, SPSNSAUS, USSTHPI

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