Inflation and Russia Dimming U.S. Economic Prospects for the Balance of 2022, According to Decision Analyst's Economic Index
Arlington, Texas—The Decision Analyst U.S. Economic Index stood at 105 in March 2022, a 3-point drop from February 2022, and a 9-point decline from the 2021 high point of 114 in June. The Index has been trending downward since June 2021, with high U.S. inflation and Russia’s attack on Ukraine reinforcing the downward trend. The Index tends to be a leading indicator of future economic activity. The past-20-year history of the Index is shown below.
“The U.S. Economic Index has been falling for 9 months now, indicating slower economic growth over the next 6 to 12 months. The decline in the Index over the past six months has been driven primarily by rising inflation, by the rapid spread of the Omicron COVID variant, and more recently by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. High inflation rates reduce consumers’ purchasing power and encourage them to postpone major purchases in the hopes that prices might be lower in the future. Inflation is especially punishing for lower-income households, because so much of the household’s budget is taken up by food, gasoline, transportation, and housing costs—where prices have increased rapidly. Supply-chain disruptions and out-of-stocks have also negatively affected the Economic Index in recent months.”
“High inflation and COVID infections should fade away as the year progresses, but the Russian invasion of Ukraine will have negative effects on the world economy throughout 2022 and into 2023. Plus, the Federal Reserve is signaling that interest rates will rise. All of these factors point to a slowing U.S. economy in the second and third quarters of 2022,” said Jerry W. Thomas, President/CEO of Decision Analyst. “A longer-term threat to the economy is the likelihood that many homes (and other assets) purchased at inflated prices could be underwater within the next year or two as interest rates go up,” observed Thomas.
“Planned future purchases (see graphs below) indicate that consumer spending intentions (roughly 70% of the U.S. economy) are strong, but starting to waver in some sectors. The graphs below show the percentages of U.S. households that say they are likely to make various types of purchases in the next 12 months.”
"Overall, future purchase intentions will provide a floor under the U.S. economy to some degree, but the risks to economic growth are significant and growing,” said Thomas.
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 (www.decisionanalyst.com) 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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