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The Sales Managers Index: United States

Released: September 20, 2016

U.S. Business Confidence falls to lowest level
ever recorded in September

  • Unpredictable political climate affecting consumer and business spending
  • Market related Indexes reflect stable but very modest overall growth
  • Prices remain stable with no sign of significant price inflation or deflation

The muted economic growth experienced during Q1 and Q2 has continued into in Q3. The Headline Sales Managers’ Index (SMI) for September remained unchanged on its August level suggesting economic activity on the run up to the presidential and holiday season will continue to be subdued. Sales Managers are reporting that consumers and business clients are being cautious and adopting a ‘wait and see’ attitude for big ticket purchases. Along with consumer uncertainty in this election year, the Business Confidence Index has plunged further to 47.9, the lowest reading in the survey’s history. Reflecting the steep fall in the Business Confidence Index, both Market and Sales Indexes have fallen to levels significantly below readings of a year ago, suggesting strongly that Q3 GDP growth will remain at the relatively low levels seen in the first half of 2016.

Headline Sales Managers' Index

Sales Managers' Index Trends
  Direction Speed
SMI Growing Very slowly
Business Confidence Falling Solidly
Market Growth Growing Modestly
Sales Output Growing Modestly
Prices Charged Growing Very slowly
Staffing Levels Falling Modestly

About United States SMI Data

The Sales Managers Index provide the earliest monthly data on the speed and direction of U.S economic activity.

Key advantages of theUnited States SMI:
  • The SMI provides the first indication each month of the speed and direction of economic growth in the U.S.
  • The SMI provides the most complete indication of growth, covering all private sector activity.
  • The SMI is based on a key occupational group - uniquely able to sense changes in business activity levels.
  • The SMI is composite index of business confidence, market growth, sales, prices charged and staffing levels.
  • The SMI is a diffusion index, any index value above 50 indicates growth and below 50 indicates contraction.

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