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The Sales Managers Index: United States

Released: March 21, 2017

U.S. SMI Signals Resurgent Economy as New Sales Growth Gains Traction and Producer Prices Surge

  • Headline Sales Managers’ Index (SMI) reflects strongest level of growth for 16 months
  • Business Confidence accelerates sharply
  • Manufacturing Price Index hits 3 year high

The Headline Sales Managers’ Index (SMI) increased in March, recording an index level of 53.4, the highest level for 16 months and representative of gathering momentum for the economy as a whole. Strong sales growth in March across all industry sectors is indicated by the Sales Growth Index (53.9) along with increasingly buoyant levels of business confidence (55.4). Prices for goods and services continue to increase in the U.S., with the Prices Charged Index for Manufacturing surging to a 3 year high in March. Prices charged in the service sector remain modest. Panel members are suggesting that higher factory output prices are a direct result of the strength of the US Dollar, and increased Global producer output prices, driven partly by increasing Chinese producer output prices filtering through the U.S. supply chain.



Headline Sales Managers' Index 


Sales Managers' Indexes Trends


Direction Speed
SMI Growing Faster
Business Confidence Growing Faster
Market Growth Growing Faster
Sales Output Growing Faster
Prices Charged Growing Modesty
Staffing Levels Growing Slowly

Business Confidence Index



Sales Growth Index





Manufacturing Sector
Sales Managers, in the U.S. Manufacturing sector, are reporting improving sales growth (52.5) in March, renewed levels of new employment activity and steadily growing market growth. Buoyant levels of optimism for the coming months, as reported by the Business Confidence Index, hit the highest level since September 2015 with an index level of 60.7, signalling that managers feel conditions are likely to improve further in the coming few months.

Business Confidence Index for Manufacturing


New Orders Growth Index for Manufacturing





Services Sector
The service sector, which covers consumer goods, services and professional services, enjoyed a steady month of growth with the Headline Sales Managers Index for Services at 52.9. Market growth has continued to increase as monthly sales growth also increased to 53.8. As with the manufacturing sector, prices increased for services but at a modest level with a Prices Charged Index reading of 53.8.

Business Confidence Index for Services



New Sales Growth Index for Services






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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