More Good News For South Carolina’s Economy?

Yes. Federal Reserve data points to a solid six months ahead in 2020 …

Yesterday this news outlet reported on some positive news for the South Carolina economy – 2018 wealth migration totals that were very encouraging when compared to the rest of the nation. Today there is additional good news … this time looking forward into the first six months of 2020.

According to data published last week by the Philadelphia branch of the Federal Reserve, South Carolina’s chronically underperforming economy is well-positioned for the first six months of 2020.

Specifically, the Palmetto State’s leading index – which predicts economic conditions over the coming six months – clocked in at an impressive 2.9 percent, the second-best rate in America.  Only Arizona fared better, with a 2.98 percent leading index.

Nationally, growth is expected to clock in at 1.37 percent over the next six months. Neighboring Georgia (1.95 percent) and North Carolina (1.79 percent) also fared well above the national average – but not as good as South Carolina.

For a change …

Meanwhile nine states – Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Montana, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Vermont, West Virginia – posted negative readings.  The state in the worst shape?  West Virginia – which had a leading index of -2.56 percent.

“This is the most significant number of states to slide into a contraction since the financial crisis,” our friends at Zero Hedge noted.

Take a look …

(Click to view)

(Via: Philadelphia Fed)

For those of you looking at these metrics for the first time, a leading index “predicts the six-month growth rate of the state’s coincident index.”

Wait … what is the coincident index? This measure is described by the Fed as a “single summary statistic that tracks the current state of the economy.”

“The (coincident) index is computed from a number of data series that move systematically with overall economic conditions,” the New York branch of the bank noted.

Obviously it remains to be seen whether this projected growth materializes – and whether all (or even most) South Carolinians benefit from it – but as we often note when it comes to the economy “green numbers (i.e. growth) are better than red ones (i.e. recession).”

Looking ahead to the November election, the leading index data for swing states will be particularly interesting to follow … especially in light of a famous question that gets asked during the run-up to presidential contests.

So stay tuned …




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