Decision Analyst’s Economic Index U.S. Census Divisions March 2016
Arlington, Texas—The U.S. Census Divisions are not all moving in the same direction. In the past 12 months, the East South Central Census Division increased 5 points, from 104 in March 2015 to 109 in March 2016. The Pacific Division increased from 105 in March 2015 to 109 in March 2016. The West North Central Division decreased from 112 in March 2015 to 109 in March 2016, while the West South Central Division decreased from 109 in March 2015 to 107 in March 2016. The New England and Middle Atlantic Census Divisions had no change over the past 12 months.
United States Economic Index
The Decision Analyst U.S. Economic Index registered 108 in March 2016, the same score as February 2016. The U.S. Economic Index in March 2016 is the same as it was a year earlier in March 2015, indicating that 2016 will be another year of snail-paced economic expansion. The Economic Index tends to lead U.S. economic activity by 6 to 12 months. Below is the past-10-year history of the U.S. Economic Index.
“The U.S. Economic Index bounced around over the past year but ended the year at 108, exactly where it started. This sideways movement of the Index over the past 12 months suggests that 2016 will be another year of slow economic activity. In fact, the U.S. seems locked into a pattern of slow economic growth. A number of structural factors are holding the U.S. economy in check: an aging population; a declining share of adults who work; rising debt levels in government and business; over investment in technology, entertainment, and analytics companies where returns are low; rising student debt; economic weakness in Canada, one of our largest trading partners; inadequate bank credit for smaller businesses; and the rising cost of healthcare. Also, the ultra-low interest rates of the Federal Reserve are creating bubbles (technology investments, rural land, stocks and bonds, automobiles, etc.). A U.S. recession in 2016 is a possibility, but the odds continue to favor slow economic growth, based on the Index.”
The division-by-division results are presented in the graphs below. Remember, the Census Division graphs portray 3-month moving averages.
*Census Division Three-Month Moving Average
The Index numbers for the census divisions are three-month moving averages to smooth out fluctuations due to smaller sample sizes. The reported Index number averages the current month with the two previous months.
The Decision Analyst Economic Index is based on a monthly online survey of several thousand households balanced by gender, age, and geography. The scientific survey is conducted in the last 10 days of each month. The Economic Index is calculated from 9 different economic measurements using a sophisticated econometric model. The result is a snapshot of coming economic activity in each country surveyed, as seen through the eyes of representative consumers living in the respective countries.
Decision Analyst conducts its concurrent economic surveys each month in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Peru, the Russian Federation, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States. Whenever the Decision Analyst Economic Index is greater than 110, it tends to signal an expanding economy. An Index value of 90 to 110 suggests a no-growth or slow-growth economy, and near or below 90 generally indicates economic contraction. These guidelines vary by country, however.
About Decision Analyst
Decision Analyst (www.decisionanalyst.com) is a global marketing research and analytical consulting firm specializing in strategy research, new product development, advertising testing, and advanced modeling for marketing decision optimization. For over 35 years, the firm has delivered competitive advantage to clients throughout the world in consumer packaged goods, telecommunications, retail, technology, medical, and automotive industries.
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Click on the map above to open Decision Analyst's Interactive Map for the United States and its nine census divisions.
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