Regional Morsel: Not yet High Noon for the West

Our analysis suggests the western U.S. is not in recession, with consumer spending strengthening this year relative to the broader U.S.

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David Tinsley

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Taylor Bowley

May 2023

Key takeaways

  • The economy of the west slowed faster than the overall U.S. in 2022, and in the final quarter its year-over-year (YoY) growth was slightly negative. So, has the West now entered recession ahead of the overall U.S.?
  • Based on our analysis, the West does not appear to be in a recession. Bank of America total card spending per household for the region has actually strengthened relative to the rest of the country. Additionally, the labor market in the West has not deteriorated relative to the broader U.S., despite headlines around tech layoffs.
  • But the West does face more structural challenges, including population flows out of the region and a need to revitalize some of its cities. These could limit the upside when the U.S. economy rebounds.

Read our full analysis for a more in-depth look at these trends.