Is California in Recession? (Part XII)

November coincident indices from the Philadelphia Fed are out. Time to re-evaluate this assessment from a year ago in Political Calculations that California was in recession.

Going by these [household survey based labor market] measures, it would appear that recession has arrived in California, which is partially borne out by state level GDP data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. [text as accessed on 12/27/2017]

The release provides an opportunity to revisit this question (the November employment figures are discussed here). It’s (still) unlikely that a recession occurred.

Figure 1: Log coincident index in US (black), and in California (blue), both in logs, normalized to 2011M01=0. Blue arrow at timing of Political Calculations recession conjecture. Source: Philadelphia Fed and author’s calculations.

According to my work with Ryan LeCloux, the growth elasticity of real GDP with respect to coincident index is about 0.60 (statistically significant), so we can be reasonably certain that GDP is still trending up.

Keep reading this article on Econbrowser Blog - James Hamilton & Menzie Chinn.