The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia computes a leading index for every U.S. state and for the nation overall. These indexes are intended to combine the information from several indicators that have (at least in the past) been good gauges of the economic development that will occur in the next six months. The graph above shows four U.S. states: one large and diversified state, New York, and three small states. The choices here are not innocent: These states all have contrasting fortunes. New York has a much smoother ride, while the small states are more often jerked around by the fluctuations of a particular industry. North Dakota and Wyoming recently benefited from the boom in oil but are now contracting even while the rest of the nation is expanding: The drop in the price of oil is the likely culprit. Nevada is also suffering quite a bit from fluctuations in commodity prices, but its current prospects seem positive.
How this graph was created: Search for “leading index,” select the states you want, and add them to the graph. We changed the color for New York to black to emphasize it.
Suggested by Christian Zimmermann
View on FRED, series used in this post: