The Federal Reserve Bank of New York works to promote sound and well-functioning financial systems and markets through its provision of industry and payment services, advancement of infrastructure reform in key markets and training and educational support to international institutions.
The Outreach and Education function engages, empowers and educates the Second District communities that the Bank serves, especially civic leaders, students, educators, small business owners, policymakers and the general public. It furthers the Bank's commitment to the region by listening to the communities we serve and leveraging our unique attributes to positively impact school and university programs, as well as analysis and research.
The authors develop indexes of leading economic indicators for New York State and New Jersey over the 1972-99 period. They find that the leading indexes convey useful information about the future course of economic activity in both states. The authors then construct separate indexes to forecast recessions and expansions in each state. The movements of the recession and expansion indexes are found to display a close relationship with the behavior of the leading indexes. Accordingly, the recession and expansion indexes allow the authors to extend the informational content of the leading indexes by estimating the probability of an upcoming cyclical change in state economic activity within the next nine months.