Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Colorado's Coincident Index at lowest growth rate recorded in 44 months

Each Month, the Philadelphia Fed releases its Coincident Index, which is designed to summarize the economy in a single statistic. According to the Philly Fed, the index number combines:

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.
During December 2015, Colorado's index grew by 3.27 percent, year over year. This was identical to November's YOY growth rate, and was down from December 2014's growth rate of 5.53 percent.

With November 2015, December's growth rate was tied for the lowest growth rate reported in 44 months. The last time we saw growth at a lower rate was during March 2012 when the index grew 3.20 percent:

Compared to the nation overall, Colorado growth has generally outpaced the nation. During December 2015, the nationwide index growth, year over year, was 3.19 percent. during November 2015, the growth rate was 3.23 percent, and it was 3.82 percent during December 2014. In recent months, Colorado, which had been outpacing the US by a healthy margin, has fallen to growth rate more in line with what we're seeing nationally:

Some of this trend can be attributable to declines in oil extraction activity. If we look at growth on a state by state basis, we do see that the two states with the most negative growth are Wyoming and North Dakota, where oil extraction has been a major part of the economy. Oil does not dominate Colorado's economy like it does some states, but it will have an impact in the statewide numbers, and that is likely a factor here.