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The Sales Managers' Index: United States

Released: February 17, 2015

Strong US Economic Growth Continues in February

  • Strongest monthly rise in business activity in 12 months
  • Business Confidence rises to 7 month high
  • Price rises firm up and payrolls continue to increase

The Sales Managers Index reflected further rapid expansion in the US economy in February, registering a value of 59.6, an increase of 1.1 percentage points when compared to January’s reading of 58.5 percent. A reading above 50 percent indicates that the economic activity is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting.

SMI data for February suggests that the rate of GDP growth for the month will be fractionally up from the buoyant levels seen in Q4 2014 which were reported as 2.6% year on year in the first estimate by the Bureau of Economic Analysis on January, 30th.

The Sales Managers’ Index is the first monthly economic activity index released covering all private sectors of the US economy. Sector analysis shows that the February Manufacturing SMI registered 60.3, an increase of 0.2 when compared to January’s reading of 60.1 and the Services SMI registered 59.7, up by 1.1 on January’s index value of 58.6. These index values show strong economic growth has continued into February across the economy with both sectors picking up pace.

Robust business conditions across both primary sectors of the US economy have underpinned the confidence of the panellists. The Business Confidence Index rose by 1.5 to register a very high value of 68.9 in February, the fourth successive monthly rise. This indicates that most panellists in the US remain very confident about business conditions in the coming months. Panellists’ rising optimism appears to be grounded in a strong growth in sales. The Market Growth Index, which reflects growth of the general marketplace in panellists’ own industry sectors, registered a very strong value of 62.0 in February, up by 2.2 on January.

The January Product Sales Index registered a value of 55.8, up by 1.7 on the month before and the second rise in value since August 2014. The turnaround in the rate of growth of markets and company sales has allowed panellists to firm prices. As a result the Prices Charged Index rose by 0.9 to record a value of 56.2 in February, the third monthly increase. Prices have continued to rise through last year, but the rate of increase slowed in the last quarter with three successive falls in the value of the Index.

Continuing strong economic activity has resulted in rising levels of employment. The Staffing Levels Index, which reflects the number of staff taken on compared to the same period in the last year, recorded a high value of 55.0 in February reflecting a rapid and consistent rise in payrolls across the US.

World Economics Chief Executive Ed Jones commented on the release:

“The Headline SMI Index for the US economy in January is showing continuing steady growth in economic activity. Both the Manufacturing and Services Sectors reflect expanding economic activity with prices firming and payrolls continue to rise.”


For further information media & press enquires please contact:  

Amelia Myles, Communications Manager
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F: +44 (0) 20 7326 8351 

Notes to Editors
The SMI’s (Sales Managers’ Indexes) are compiled and analysed by World Economics and are based on survey data collected from a panel of over 450 US companies balanced by the all Industry Classification Board (ICB) sectors which are weighted to reflect their contribution to national Gross Domestic Product.

The Sales Managers’ Index results are calculated as
diffusion index which have the characteristics of leading indicators by taking the percentage of respondents that report that activity has risen (“Increasing") and adding it to one-half of the percentage that report the activity has not changed (“Unchanged"). Using half of the “Unchanged" percentage effectively measures the bias toward a positive (above 50 points) or negative (below 50 points) index. An example of how to calculate a diffusion index: if the response is 40% “Increasing," 40% “Unchanged," and 20% “Reducing," the Diffusion Index would be 60 points (40% + [0.50 x 40%]). A value of 50 indicates "no change" from the previous month.

The more distant the index is from the amount that would indicate "no change" (50 points), the greater the rate of change indicated. Therefore, an index value of 58 indicates a faster rate of increase than an index value of 53, and an index value of 40 indicates a faster rate of decrease than an index value of 45. A value of 100 indicates all respondents are reporting increased activity while 0 indicates that all respondents report decreased activity.

Three month Moving Averages are applied to each index to mitigate the effect of seasonal variations, original un-adjusted data are not revised after publication.

About the Sales Managers’ Indexes
The Sales Managers’ Indexes are a series of products developed by World Economics which counts panellists in over 70 countries worldwide. Designed to raise the voice and profile of sales people throughout the world, the Sales Managers’ Indexes provide the earliest indication each and every month of the direction of economic activity, and the speed at which its markets are growing.

Sales Managers are unique as an occupational group in being right at the front line of economic activity. The Sales Manager is ideally placed to feel the first few whispers of caution in the market or to see the new green shoots of economic recovery.

The Sales Managers’ Index brings together the collective wisdom of Sales Managers and consequently produces the best and earliest source of understanding about what’s really happening in each economy.

The Sales Managers’ Index has been developed by World Economics, a leading edge provider of original economic data. Sister products include the World Price Index, Global Marketing Index, World Economics Journal, as well as country level Growth Trackers.

About World Economics
World Economics is an organisation dedicated to producing analysis, insight and data relating to questions of importance in understanding the world economy. Its parent company Information Sciences Ltd has a long history of the development of key business information today used throughout the world, including the origination of the Purchasing Managers Indexes in Europe and Asia (now owned by Markit), and the development of WARC a global information provider for major corporations.

Currently our primary research objective is to encourage and assist the development of better and faster measures of economic activity. In cases where we believe we can contribute directly, as opposed to through highlighting the work of others, we are producing our own measures of economic activity.

Our work is mainly of interest to investors, organisations and individuals in the financial sector and to significant corporations with global operations, as well as governments and academic economists.

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18 days ago
Great. Thanks.

805 days ago
Style now is very good, the information if continuously updated. Thank you

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