It's kind of amazing that the greenest states -- the ones showing the most growth -- were in the Northeast. Plus, Michigan. Michigan! Judging from reports in the media, you'd think Michigan was about to close up shop and go out of business. But apparently (perhaps thanks to auto company bailouts) things are going okay in the Wolverine state.
But that was November. What about the future? The map below, released last week, shows what financial experts are expecting for the next six months.
In general, it looks like business is improving. Two months ago, 13 states were in the red. Now the negatives are a little better. For the spring of 2011, only 11 states are expected to go downhill. On the winning side of the ledger, in Nov. 2010, just 4 states were expanding at a rate over 1.5 percent. Now, in the first half of 2011, experts forecast that 12 states -- ranging from Maine to Alaska -- will grow their economies at 1.5 percent or better.
Of course, experts can be wrong. But if you live in the Northeast or the Midwest, things seem to be picking up. If you live in Nevada or Idaho . . . well, maybe you'd be better off heading south and looking for a job in Phoenix or Tucson.
The current trend suggests a favorable wind for traditional retirees -- northerners who want to kick back and enjoy a warmer clime. Yankees seem to be benefiting from a slightly better economy. Maybe they can sell their house at a decent price, then take advantage of weaker markets in Florida, Georgia or North Carolina.