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The First Data on Economic Activity Levels in the United States - Every Month
Updated: July 21, 2022
  • Business activity indicators all remain close to the 50 "no growth" line
  • Business Confidence is actually sitting right on the 50 no-growth fence
  • Both Sales and Market Growth Indexes fell in July, the former just below and the latter just above 50
  • The Staffing Index rose sharply year-on-year, but remained at a lowly reading of 48.1
  • The overall Sales Managers Index remained marginally under the 50 no growth line
  • Prices continue to rise, but at a rapidly diminishing rate, perhaps the most encouraging sign this month

United States SMI: Headline Sales Managers Index

Source: World Economics
Note: Data Shown as a Diffusion Index. (50 = 'No Change', above 50 = Increasing growth, below 50 = Declining growth)
0 0 0 USA|#0A66C2|60.4, 60.4, 57, 53.9, 56.1, 55, 56.1, 55.9, 54.1, 53.7, 51.8, 53.5, 52.3, 51.9, 52.9, 52, 51.2, 47.9, 41.7, 34.6, 41.1, 44.1, 48.5, 50.7, 48.2, 48.9, 51.2, 51.5, 49.9, 51.5, 51.3, 52, 52.7, 54.9, 53.2, 52.4, 52.6, 54.5, 53.2, 53.5, 51.3, 49.5, 50.3, 51.4, 49, 49.6 Oct 2018, Nov 2018, Dec 2018, Jan 2019, Feb 2019, Mar 2019, Apr 2019, May 2019, Jun 2019, Jul 2019, Aug 2019, Sep 2019, Oct 2019, Nov 2019, Dec 2019, Jan 2020, Feb 2020, Mar 2020, Apr 2020, May 2020, Jun 2020, Jul 2020, Aug 2020, Sep 2020, Oct 2020, Nov 2020, Dec 2020, Jan 2021, Feb 2021, Mar 2021, Apr 2021, May 2021, Jun 2021, Jul 2021, Aug 2021, Sep 2021, Oct 2021, Nov 2021, Dec 2021, Jan 2022, Feb 2022, Mar 2022, Apr 2022, May 2022, Jun 2022, Jul 2022

The US economy is very slowly tipping into recession according to the latest (July) data from the Sales Managers Monthly survey.

Sales managers are very much the "front line" in terms of sensitivity to changing business conditions. Sensitive to contractual negotiations being deliberately slowed down.


Sensitive to expected contracts "in the bag" being suddenly cancelled. And most of all sensitive to "budgetary problems" being increasingly cited as reasons for sales negotiations faltering.


All of these conditions are present today in many markets leading to the July Sales Managers Index remaining below the no-growth line. Very little general good news is apparent from the survey, although some sectors of economic activity continue to thrive, and price pressures do at last seem to be moderating.


About the Sales Managers Indexes

The Sales Managers' Indexes provide the earliest monthly data on the speed and direction of economic activity in key growth areas of the world.

The SMI’s (Sales Managers’ Indexes) are compiled and analysed by World Economics and are based on survey data collected from a panel of companies stratifying all Industry Classification Board (ICB) sectors which are weighted to reflect their contribution to national Gross Domestic Product.

Key advantages of the SMI's:

  • The SMI's provide the first indication each month of the speed and direction of economic growth.
  • The SMI's provide the most complete indication of growth, covering all private sector activity.
  • The SMI's are based on a key occupational group - sales executives - uniquely able to sense accurate changes in business activity levels.
  • The SMI survey base - salespeople - are used by virtually all businesses, including in frontier markets, unlike other occupational groups.
  • The SMI's focus on the key countries contributing to over 60% of United States growth in recent years.

About the Data

SMI data for the ~USA is published as diffusion indexes to gauge the speed and direction of economic activity.

Monthly data since 2011 is downloadable for all-sectors in a consistent unadjusted format for 7 key indexes: