New DIVER Geo Scores, New Jersey regions, and NYSTA News

Categories: Commentary, Uncategorized |

January 5, 2015

This week we start with a review of our proprietary Geo Score and highlight some ups and downs as well as provide you a link to get the scores themselves.   We also update our chart of regional Geo Scores in New Jersey and comment briefly on recent news from the New York State Thruway Authority.

December Geo Scores

This morning, we released the most recent DIVER Geo Scores for States, counties and cities. The DIVER Geo Score represents a relative score of the economic health of a U.S. State, county or city. Based on a scale of 0-10, with 10 being the best, this data is updated monthly and is calculated from multiple economic and demographic factors related to three primary data categories—employment, income and housing.

The DIVER Geo Scores are available here.

State DIVER Geo Score Strongest and Weakest

(December ‘14)


Source: DIVER Analytics-Data Access Module, DIVER Data Solutions

Not yet showing signs of oil economy weakness, North Dakota once again has the highest State Geo Score. 

County DIVER Geo Score Strongest and Weakest

(December ‘14)

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Source: DIVER Analytics-Data Access Module, DIVER Data Solutions

The oil producing regions of North Dakota and Texas continue to dominate the topped ranked counties.  Because of its large presence in the municipal market, we will be monitoring Texas closely for signs of weakness due to oil market declines.

States with Biggest Changes in DIVER Geo Score During 2014

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Source: DIVER Analytics-Data Access Module, DIVER Data Solutions

Looking back at 2014, we see that Maryland and New Jersey lagged the national economy.  Their Geo Scores declined the most over the course of the year.

New Jersey DIVER Geo Scores

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Source: DIVER Analytics-Data Access Module, DIVER Data Solutions

New Jersey will be one of the most interesting states to watch during 2015.

New Jersey is faced with a number of issues in the coming year:  a lagging economy, the ratcheting up of pension funding issues, the aftermath of Atlantic City’s implosion, and a Governor who could be spending more time in Des Moines, Iowa and Concord, New Hampshire, than in Trenton.

Top Officials at New York State Thruway Resign

In previous Commentaries we have been critical of the New York State Thruway Authority regarding the lack of transparency and poor public policy it has exhibited around the construction and funding of the replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge.

Last week the New York Post reported the resignation of NYSTA’s Executive Director Madison and Chief of Staff Bryant. The Post speculated that the officials were pushed out in advance of a potentially critical report by New York State’s Inspector General.

Several of Governor Cuomo’s aides will temporarily oversee the operations of NYSTA.  By tying the Governor directly to the operations and finances of NYSTA, this will heighten the stakes any decisions to raise tolls.

It will be interesting to hear any comments from the rating agencies.  Madison had previously said that NYSTA financial plans needed to be kept secret so as not to jeopardize NYSTA’s bond rating.

We look forward to the report and hope that it addresses a tremendous lack of transparency and poor financial planning.

This week, the Lumesis team is mostly local.

Have a great week,


Mike Craft
Managing Director, Credit, Lumesis, Inc.


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