Released: 23 September 2020
US Sales Managers Report a Marginal Recovery in Confidence in September and Significantly Better Results for Sales, but Staffing Levels Keep Falling
Business Confidence in the state of the US economy has crossed the 50 level and moved into positive territory for the first time since the Covid drama began, resulting in a 7 month high for the Index. However the improvement is still marginal.
Panelists responses to the question of sales performance also came in at a 7 month high in September. The Sales Growth Index is now way above the all time low level seen in May of 34.3, and also over the 50 level indicating growth. But it should be remembered that this positive looking improvement relates to sales activity relative to that of the previous month. A good month following a bad month will produce a positive looking result, but does not suggest an increase in overall sales levels, or economic activity in general. Only an increase compared with the poor previous month. Nevertheless, movement is clearly in a positive direction, and the economy is no longer in the parlous state seen a few months ago.
The Staffing Index is of considerable significance this month, as (unlike the Sales Growth Index) it compares staffing levels in September this year with levels seen last year. The Staffing Index remains deep in negative territory, with few respondents appearing to have need of more staff, 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 resurgence of 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 moderating, and confidence clearly improving.
United States: Staffing Levels Index
The Staffing Levels Index monitors the level of growth or decline in employment against the same period a year earlier..
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