Liberty Street Economics

« | Main | »

June 24, 2016

Just Released: May’s Indexes of Coincident Economic Indicators Show Economic Growth Moderating across the Region

LSE_Just Released: May’s Indexes of Coincident Economic Indicators Show Economic Growth Moderating across the Region

The May Indexes of Coincident Economic Indicators (CEIs) for New Jersey, New York State, and New York City, released today, show some slowing in economic growth across the region—in part reflecting the Verizon strike (which has since been settled), as well as somewhat weaker economic fundamentals. As shown in the chart below, New York City continues to be the strongest engine of growth in the region, by far, though there too, we have seen some deceleration.


The CEIs reported here are single composite measures designed to provide a monthly reading of economic activity. They are constructed from four data series: payroll employment, the unemployment rate, average weekly hours worked in manufacturing, and real (inflation-adjusted) earnings. Details of the construction of the CEIs can be found in this 1999 report. Although the index methodology is designed to smooth out short-lived swings in economic indicators (such as labor strikes), it does not completely eliminate their effects on the index.

Based on the CEIs, growth in the region has been more subdued thus far in 2016 than it has been throughout most of the expansion. The index for New Jersey shows that the Garden State’s economy has decelerated of late: After expanding at a roughly 3 percent annualized rate in 2015, economic activity is estimated to have grown at a rate of just 1½ percent year-to-date, reflecting slowing job growth and some upswing in unemployment. Growth in the index slowed further in May, but this was likely exacerbated by the Verizon strike, which idled an estimated 5,000 workers but has since been resolved. One recent bright spot in New Jersey has been a pickup in manufacturing employment led by the state’s key chemicals/pharmaceuticals industry.

Recent trends in New York State have been fairly similar. This index showed economic activity growing at a pace of 3.5 percent in 2015 but slowing to 2.3 percent thus far in 2016. Again, a further deceleration, to just 1.3 percent in May appears to reflect the telecom strike, which idled an estimated 10,000 workers across New York State. The strike was settled in late May so its effect should be reversed in June, in which case the growth rate of this index would pick up at least a bit.

The index for New York City has also decelerated noticeably thus far in 2016, though the pace of growth remains a whole lot higher than in either New Jersey or New York State—as has been the case throughout this expansion. The index shows growth in the Big Apple’s economy, which had exceeded a rate of 5 percent for most of 2015, slowing to below 4 percent—which is still pretty strong—thus far in 2016. Even with the strike, growth was still above 3 percent in May.

All in all, May’s report shows that the pace of growth in economic activity has slowed thus far in 2016, though the sluggish growth in May was likely driven, at least in part, by the telecom strike. Updates to the regional CEIs are provided on a monthly basis.


The views expressed in this post are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York or the Federal Reserve System. Any errors or omissions are the responsibility of the authors.

Jason Bram is a research officer in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Research and Statistics Group.

Daniele Caratelli is a senior research analyst in the Bank’s Research and Statistics Group.

How to cite this blog post:
Jason Bram and Daniele Caratelli, “Just Released: May’s Indexes of Coincident Economic Indicators Show Economic Growth Moderating across the Region,” Federal Reserve Bank of New York Liberty Street Economics (blog), June 24, 2016,

About the Blog

Liberty Street Economics features insight and analysis from New York Fed economists working at the intersection of research and policy. Launched in 2011, the blog takes its name from the Bank’s headquarters at 33 Liberty Street in Manhattan’s Financial District.

The editors are Michael Fleming, Andrew Haughwout, Thomas Klitgaard, and Asani Sarkar, all economists in the Bank’s Research Group.

Liberty Street Economics does not publish new posts during the blackout periods surrounding Federal Open Market Committee meetings.

The views expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of the New York Fed or the Federal Reserve System.

Economic Research Tracker

Image of NYFED Economic Research Tracker Icon Liberty Street Economics is available on the iPhone® and iPad® and can be customized by economic research topic or economist.

Economic Inequality

image of inequality icons for the Economic Inequality: A Research Series

This ongoing Liberty Street Economics series analyzes disparities in economic and policy outcomes by race, gender, age, region, income, and other factors.

Most Read this Year

Comment Guidelines


We encourage your comments and queries on our posts and will publish them (below the post) subject to the following guidelines:

Please be brief: Comments are limited to 1,500 characters.

Please be aware: Comments submitted shortly before or during the FOMC blackout may not be published until after the blackout.

Please be relevant: Comments are moderated and will not appear until they have been reviewed to ensure that they are substantive and clearly related to the topic of the post.

Please be respectful: We reserve the right not to post any comment, and will not post comments that are abusive, harassing, obscene, or commercial in nature. No notice will be given regarding whether a submission will or will
not be posted.‎

Comments with links: Please do not include any links in your comment, even if you feel the links will contribute to the discussion. Comments with links will not be posted.

Send Us Feedback

Disclosure Policy

The LSE editors ask authors submitting a post to the blog to confirm that they have no conflicts of interest as defined by the American Economic Association in its Disclosure Policy. If an author has sources of financial support or other interests that could be perceived as influencing the research presented in the post, we disclose that fact in a statement prepared by the author and appended to the author information at the end of the post. If the author has no such interests to disclose, no statement is provided. Note, however, that we do indicate in all cases if a data vendor or other party has a right to review a post.