Posted by Jonathan J. Miller -Thursday, March 22, 2012, 7:22 AM
The New York Fed publishes a coincident index using data on employment, real earnings, the unemployment rate and average weekly hours worked in manufacturing and its beginning to show nominal weakness. This comes out monthly and I keep an eye on it. The employment numbers were rebenchmarked in 2011 which made the second half of last year better than originally reported.
A coincident index not a lagging indicator like consumer confidence or a leading indicator like building permits. Coincident is closer to what is happening now, or it least that is what my smart economist friends tell me.
The latest release (January 2012 data):
January’s Indexes of Coincident Economic Indicators Show Fairly Robust Activity across the Region
In January, the New York City Index of Coincident Economic Indicators (CEI) increased at an annual rate of 3.1%, following a 2.9% increase in December. The index is up 3.5% over the past year.
It looks like the regional economy is grinding out “solid”, “robust” gains. Eventually this will be helpful to housing in the region, whether or not credit eases anytime soon.