More good economic news in latest Philly Fed data

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank’s coincident index of economic activity for January provides a promising picture for virtually the entire U.S.

From the press release:

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has released the coincident indexes for the 50 states for January 2012. In the past month, the indexes increased in 48 states, decreased in one (Alaska), and remained unchanged in one (Wisconsin) for a one-month diffusion index of 94. Over the past three months, the indexes increased in 48 states, decreased in one, and remained unchanged in one for a three-month diffusion index of 94. For comparison purposes, the Philadelphia Fed has also developed a similar coincident index for the entire United States. The Philadelphia Fed’s U.S. index rose 0.4 percent in January and 1.0 percent over the past three months.

The Philly Fed’s indices are based on the following methodology:

The four state-level variables in each coincident index are nonfarm payroll employment, average hours worked in manufacturing, 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.

Here’s how that coincident index looks on the map:

And the leading index looks even better, suggesting above trend growth into the fall: