Decision Analyst’s U.S. Economic Index Indicates Slowing Economic Growth Over Next Six Months

The Decision Analyst U.S. Economic Index stood at 113 in September 2021, a 1-point decrease from July 2021, but still 7 points above 12 months ago (September 2020). The Index tends to be a leading indicator of future economic activity. The past-20-year history of the Index is shown below.

September 2021 Economic Index

“The U.S. Economic Index continues its rebound from its low point reached in April 2020. COVID-19 vaccines are now widely available in the U.S., a large share of the U.S. adult population is fully vaccinated, and many adults are now receiving booster shots. Many teenagers are now receiving COVID-19 shots. This is all positive news for the overall economy, but the Delta variant of COVID-19 is creating many new cases among the unvaccinated, and hospitals in many states are at or approaching capacity. However, the COVID-19 trendlines are starting a downward turn. If this positive trend continues, then the U.S. economy should continue to expand during the final months of 2021 and into early 2022, albeit at a slowing rate. Rising inflation is reducing consumers’ purchasing power. Supply chain disruptions and outages of many products and services are negatively affecting the U.S. economy. Many of the government’s economic stimulus efforts are beginning to reach ‘end of life,’ and this will be a drag on consumer spending during the final months of 2021 and the beginning months of 2022. Real estate foreclosures should trend upward in coming months. Many small businesses will have to close their doors in coming months as well,” said Jerry W. Thomas, President/CEO of Decision Analyst.

“Planned future purchases (see graphs below) continue, on average, to indicate that consumer spending (roughly 70% of the U.S. economy) will be reasonably stable over the final quarter of 2021 and first quarter of 2022. The graphs below show the percentages of U.S. households that said they are likely to make various types of purchases in the next 12 months.”

Decision Analyst Intent to Buy: September

"Future purchase intentions suggest that the economy should continue its recovery during the balance of 2021 and into 2022,” said Thomas. “As noted, actual purchases are likely to soften, as rising inflation and supply chain issues delay consumer purchases. All together, these factors point to a slowing economy during the balance of 2021 and into early 2022.”


The Decision Analyst Economic Index is based on a monthly online survey of several thousand households balanced by gender, age, and geography. The scientific survey is conducted in the last 10 days of each month. The Economic Index is calculated from 9 different economic measurements using a sophisticated econometric model. The result is a snapshot of coming economic activity in each country surveyed, as seen through the eyes of representative consumers living in the respective countries.

Decision Analyst conducts its concurrent economic surveys each month in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Peru, the Russian Federation, Spain, and the United States. Whenever the Decision Analyst Economic Index is greater than 110, it tends to signal an expanding economy. An Index value of 90 to 110 suggests a no-growth or slow-growth economy, and near or below 90 generally indicates economic contraction. These guidelines vary by country, however.

About Decision Analyst

Decision Analyst ( is a global marketing research and analytical consulting firm specializing in strategy research, new product development, advertising testing, and advanced modeling for marketing decision optimization. For over 40 years, the firm has delivered competitive advantage to clients throughout the world in consumer-packaged goods, telecommunications, retail, technology, medical, and automotive industries.

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