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State Leading Indexes

Philadelphia Fed Suspends the Release of the State Leading Indexes
Given the sudden, extreme impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on initial unemployment claims in recent weeks, our researchers’ standard approach for estimating the six-month change in coincident indexes is not appropriate. Therefore, the Philadelphia Fed has suspended the release of the state leading indexes indefinitely.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia produces leading indexes for each of the 50 states. The indexes are calculated monthly and are usually released a week after the release of the coincident indexes. The Bank issues a release each month describing the current and future economic situation of the 50 states with special coverage of the Third District: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.

The leading index for each state predicts the six-month growth rate of the state’s coincident index. In addition to the coincident index, the models include other variables that lead the economy: state-level housing permits (1 to 4 units), state initial unemployment insurance claims, delivery times from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) manufacturing survey, and the interest rate spread between the 10-year Treasury bond and the 3-month Treasury bill.

A time-series model (vector autoregression) is used to construct the leading index. Current and prior values of the forecast variables are used to determine the future values of the index.

Data Sources & Additional Information 

Delivery times from the ISM Manufacturing Survey can be obtained from the Institute for Supply Management. External Link

Housing permits can be obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau. External Link

Initial unemployment insurance claims can be obtained from the Department of Labor. External Link

Interest rates for the 10-year Treasury bond and the 3-month Treasury bill can be obtained from the Board of Governors. External Link

Errata: PDF Shows corrections to the historical data (Last update: May 23, 2018)


Crone, Theodore M. "A New Look at Economic Indexes for the States in the Third District," PDF Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia (November/December 2000).

  • Last update: April 29, 2020

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Questions or comments about the leading indexes can be sent to Tosmai Puenpatom. E-mail