The U.S. Economic Index Rebounds in February 2019
Arlington, Texas—The Decision Analyst U.S. Economic Index stands at 119 for February 2019, a 4-point increase from February 2018 and a 5-point rebound from January 2019. The overall trend of the Economic Index over the past couple of years is relatively flat, indicating slower growth as the U.S. economy struggles to gain ground in the first quarter of 2019. The rebound in the U.S. Index in February is encouraging, but the longer-term trend suggests caution. 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 24 months is suggesting slower economic growth in coming quarters. It looks like U.S. GDP growth in 2018 will come in close to three percent (3%), once all the revisions are completed. However, the relatively flat U.S. Economic Index over the past two years indicates that U.S. economic growth in 2019 will be relatively modest, probably two percent (2%) or below. Decisions coming out of Washington, D.C., are dampening the U.S. economy. Tariffs, trade disputes, immigration crackdowns, hostility toward other countries, and the government shutdown all tend to weaken the U.S. economy and increase uncertainty for consumers and businesses. Major corporations are doing their part to support 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,” said Jerry W. Thomas, CEO/President of Decision Analyst. “Weakness in Europe and China are also concerning. All things considered, 2019 looks like a challenging year for the U.S. economy.”
Only two of the Census Divisions increased in the past 12 months. The Pacific Census Division increased 3 points, and the East South Central Census Division increased 1 point. The Middle Atlantic Census Division decreased 5 points in the past 12 months.
The following chart compares the U.S. Economic Index to Decision Analyst’s Economic Indices for other countries. In South America, Brazil has the largest gain, with an increase of 10 points in the past 12 months; meanwhile, Argentina has declined 14 points. In Europe, Italy has increased 5 points in the past 12 months, while France has decreased 6 points, and the Russian Federation has decreased 5 points. 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, the UK, 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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Interactive Economic Index
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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