The December U.S. Economic Index Tilting Downward at the Start of 2019
Arlington, Texas—The Decision Analyst U.S. Economic Index stands at 114 for January 2019, a 4-point decline from January 2018, but a 1-point increase from December 2018. The overall trend of the Economic Index is tilting downward and might indicate a turning point in overall economic activity. The decline in the Index over the past year suggests that the U.S. economy is starting to slow at the start 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 overall pattern of the U.S. Economic Index over the past few months is suggesting slower economic growth in coming quarters. Decisions and actions coming out of Washington, D.C., are dampening the U.S. economy. Trade disputes, immigration crackdowns, the government shutdown, and rising interest rates all tend to weaken the U.S. economy and increase uncertainty for consumers and business executives. Corporations are contributing to the economic weakness by not investing sufficiently in research and development, new products, and new plants and equipment—as they chase short-term profits at the expense of long-term gains. Low unemployment and the imposition of tariffs mean that the threat of inflation is ever present, along with the risk that inflation might reduce consumer spending,” said Jerry W. Thomas, President/CEO of Decision Analyst. “Weakness in Europe and China are also a concern. All in all, 2019 looks like a challenging year for the U.S. economy.”
Only two of the Census Divisions have increased in the past 12 months. The East South Central Census Division increased 2 points, and the New England Census Division increased 1 point. The East North Central Census Division and the South Atlantic Census Division each decreased 3 points in the past 12 months.
The following chart compares the U.S. Economic Index to Decision Analyst’s Economic Indices for other countries. Most countries tracked are in decline. In South America, Argentina has declined 16 points in the past 12 months, while Brazil has increased 12 points. In Europe, France has decreased 9 points, and Russia has decreased 4 points in the past 12 months. The major countries tracked by Decision Analyst 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, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Peru, the Russian Federation, Spain, 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 40 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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