Monday, February 18, 2008

What I'm working on this week 

My book is about two weeks away from shipping (anyone got a good idea for cover art?), but before that I have the Economic Outlook presentation, so I'm thinking about state recessions. David Beckworth has pointed to an article in the Economist on state recessions, but the map in the latter uses unemployment rates, which are a lagging indicator. Beckworth looks instead at the Philly Fed's dataset on state coincident indicators, using the model of Crone and Clayton-Matthews (REStat 2005 -- there's a readable recent article by Crone here. He points out that there has never been a recession in Minnesota without one nationally. As recent concerns about a national recession begin to fade, we have to wonder whether the statements of local recession are accurate. And yet Beckworth's chart shows that for December alone, Minnesota's coincident index fell at an annualized rate of over 3%, eighth worse in the nation. I have to spend a couple days pondering that data.

Between both these things and a report for the university for planning (ugh!) posting might be lighter than usual here.