Released: 22 July 2020
U.S. Sales Managers Report Continuing Decline in Business Confidence, Profits, Sales and Jobs in July
The Business Confidence Index moved up significantly closer to the 50 “no growth" level in July, but nevertheless remained in negative territory signalling a continuation of falling optimism about the course of economic activity over the next few months.
Panelists responses to the question of sales performance in July were also not very positive. The Sales Index did "increase" again from the all-time low level seen in May of 34.3 to 43.6 in July but remained well under the 50 level. It should be remembered that this positive looking improvement (a fall in the rate of decline) relates to sales activity relative to that of the previous month. A bad month followed by a slightly less bad month will produce a positive looking result, but does not suggest an increase in sales levels, or economic activity in general.
The Profits Index also moved up closer to the 50 line, but remains firmly below it, mirroring falling sales levels.
The Staffing Index is of considerable significance this month, as it compares staffing levels in July this year with levels seen last year. Like the Market and Sales Indexes, the Staffing Index remains deep in negative territory, with few respondents appearing to have need of more people, and most making do with fewer employees than a year ago.
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 in the USA.
Conditions as yet do not appear to be getting better in the sense of showing real and significant sales increases, but at least the dive into recession is getting less steep.
United States: Headline Sales Managers Index
The Headline Sales Managers' Index (SMI) - a composite indicator designed to provide the most up-to-date assessment of business activity.
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