The Economic Index Suggests a Slowing U.S. Economy by Late Fall
Arlington, Texas—The Decision Analyst U.S. Economic Index stands at 115 in June 2018, the same Index score as June 2017. The June 2018 U.S. Index is down 1 point from May 2018. The overall trend of the Economic Index suggests that U.S. economic growth is leveling off and will grow more slowly during the second half of 2018 and the beginning of 2019. The Economic Index tends to lead overall 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 is at a reasonably high level but appears to be trending sideways, an indicator that growth prospects might be stalling out,” said Jerry W. Thomas, President/CEO of Decision Analyst. “Looking forward, the economic picture is muddled. Disruptions from tariffs, threats of tariffs, and the exacerbation of inflation related to the tariffs, are casting a pall over the U.S. economy. Rising interest rates are also having a dampening effect on the U.S. economy. Rising U.S. interest rates could deflate U.S. asset bubbles (stock prices, real estate, etc.) and could trigger a rapid downturn in the economy. These threats to the U.S. economy are likely to negate some of the potential benefits from the recent federal tax cuts. Economic slowdowns in several European economies, as well as the possibility of recession in China, loom as potential negatives for the U.S. economy. Somewhere in the next 6-18 months, a recession lies in wait.”
The West North Central and the West South Central Census Divisions saw declines in the past 12 months. All others increased. The East South Central Census Division had the highest score in June 2018 at 118, an increase of 6 points in the past 12 months. The South Atlantic and Pacific Census Divisions each had an Index of 117, and each increased 3 points in the past 12 months. The New England and the West North Central Census Divisions had the weakest scores in the U.S. in June 2018 with a score of 113 each.
The following chart compares the U.S. Economic Index to Decision Analyst’s Economic Indices for other countries. The Economic Indices for all European countries are substantially below the U.S. Economic Index, and several countries in Europe are seeing declines in their Indices. France and Spain have each declined 4 points in the past 12 months, while Germany has declined 2 points. Italy has increased by 6 points in the past 12 months. In South America, Brazil has increased by 5 points in the past 12 months, while Argentina has declined by 5 points. The major countries tracked are shown below.
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, the 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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