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The Sales Managers Index: United States of America

The First Data on Economic Activity Levels in the United States - Every Month
Released: 22 June 2020

Sales Managers Report a Continuing Fall in Business in June

  • The US Sales Managers Headline Index continues to reflect a severe fall in sales levels for the 4th consecutive month.
  • The Market Growth Index fell again in June reflecting Sales Managers' general view that business remains far from buoyant in most business sectors.
  • The Staffing Index, still stuck in the low 30's (at the second lowest level ever recorded) suggests very few managers are hiring and most are still firing.

Recent comment on the Sales Managers Indexes suggests that some readers are forgetting that the questions asked of the panel vary in nature. In normal circumstances this matters very little, but in today's harsh climate it is worth re-defining the questions and their meaning.

The Business Confidence Index asks about how confident panelists feel about the next few months. In the dire circumstances of recent months, it is entirely normal that business people hope the next 2-3 months will see an improvement in business conditions. But the crucial word here is "hope". So the small improvement in the Business Confidence reading seen in June suggests something rather different to succeeding questions.

The question relating to the Markets panelists are working in, asks simply if markets served are growing, stable or in decline (note: no time period is specified). This question produced largely negative answers in June suggesting very few markets have seen positive sales growth. This is not an optimistic result indicating that Covid-19 related problems are far from over.

Answers to the question relating specifically to respondents Sales also generated few positive replies. The Sales index did "increase" from the all-time low level seen in May of 34.3 to 42.3 but remained far from the 50 level that separates growth from decline. We believe this positive looking improvement (which is simply a fall in the rate of decline) relates to the fact that this question specifically asks for sales activity in June relative to the previous (awful) month. A bad month followed by a slightly less bad month will produce an encouraging looking result, but certainly does not suggest an increase in sales levels, or economic activity in general, particularly when seen in the context of the previous question.

The Staffing Index is also of considerable significance this month. Like the Market and Sales Indexes, Staffing remains deep in negative territory, with few respondents appearing to have need of more people in June. Again this suggests that the months immediately following the outbreak of the Coronavirus have not been followed by resurgent demand.

In general panelists report an economy slowly re-opening and ready to produce, but still waiting for the consumer demand that makes up a sizeable proportion of overall economic activity.

Conditions as yet do not appear to be getting better in the sense of showing sales increases, but the dive into recession is getting less steep.

 

United States: Staffing Levels Index

The Staffing Levels Index monitors the level of growth or decline in employment against the same period a year earlier.

 

Access United States SMI Charts & Data

INDEXES AVAILABLE:
  • HEADLINE SALES MANAGERS’ INDEX (SMI)
  • BUSINESS CONFIDENCE INDEX
  • MARKET GROWTH INDEX
  • SALES GROWTH INDEX
  • PRICES CHARGED INDEX
  • STAFFING LEVELS INDEX
  • CURRENCY STRENGTH INDEX
  • PROFIT MARGINS INDEX
  • LEARN MORE...
 
    ALL SALES MANAGERS INDEX DATA IS AVAILABLE ON SUBSCRIPTION, SUBSCRIBE HERE


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