The U.S. Economic Index Struggles to Get Traction in March 2019
Arlington, Texas—The Decision Analyst U.S. Economic Index stands at 117 for March 2019, a 2-point increase from March 2018. The Index is down about 2 points from last month. The overall trendline of the Economic Index over the past 2 years is relatively flat, which indicates slower growth as the U.S. economy struggles to get traction in the first half 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 24 months is suggesting slower economic growth in coming quarters. U.S. GDP growth in 2018 will come in close to 3%, once all the revisions are completed, but growth in 2019 will most likely come in closer to 2% or less. Decisions coming out of Washington, D.C., are dampening the U.S. economy. Tariffs, trade disputes, immigration crackdowns, hostility toward other countries, and the governmental chaos tend to weaken the U.S. economy and to increase uncertainty for consumers and businesses. Major corporations are doing their part to sustain economic weakness by not investing sufficiently in research and development, new products, and new plants and equipment—as they waste the tax cut by buying back their own stocks,” said Jerry W. Thomas, CEO/President of Decision Analyst. “Weakness in Europe and China are also concerning, which will exert downward pressure on U.S. economic activity in 2019.”
The Pacific Census Division and the Mountain Census Division each increased 6 points in the past 12 months. Meanwhile, the Middle Atlantic and the West North Central Census Divisions each have declined 3 points in the past 12 months. The South Atlantic and the West South Central Census Divisions have not changed 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 9 points in the past 12 months; meanwhile, Argentina has declined 15 points. In Europe, the UK has increased 5 points in the past 12 months. France has decreased 8 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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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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