Washington Economy Watch provides local business and government leaders with a consistent analysis of Greater Washington’s regional economy to ensure they are equipped with the information needed to make informed decisions regarding the future development of the region’s economy.


Washington Economy Watch

Following the onset of a recession in July of 1990, a region-specific early warning analytical framework was developed to ensure public and private sectors leaders could better anticipate changes in the direction of the local economy. The Washington Economic Index has been calculated each month since February 1991 and reflects an underlying data base that dates back to 1978.

The Washington Economic Index is the only metropolitan–level Index (consisting of Leading and Coincident Indices).

The Washington Leading Index forecasts the performance of the metropolitan area economy six to eight months in advance based on a combination of regional indicators, including unemployment, consumer expectations, retail spending, and residential building permits.

The Washington Coincident Index represents the current state of the metropolitan area economy based on a combination of regional indicators, including wage and salary employment, consumer confidence, retail sales, and domestic passenger volume.

Each month, The Stephen S. Fuller Institute will report on the status of these key indicators to ensure regional leaders have the most up-to-date information in regards to the current and near-term performance of the Washington region’s economy.

Understanding Business Cycles and The Washington Economic Index ›


Current Report

Washington Economy Watch
Vol. II, No. 6 – June 2018
View PDF ›

Growth Slows in April but Outlook Remains Good for the Region’s Economy
The April 2018 performances of Washington region’s Indices, while continuing their respective positive trends from 2017, reflected some weaknesses compared to both their performances in March 2018 and in April 2017. The Coincident Index was negative on a month-to-month basis, with two of its four indicators underperforming their respective March values, but on a monthly over-the-year basis it managed to extend its positive trajectory to a 49th month. The Leading Index’s April gain was the weakest of the year with only two of its four indicators contributing to its increase. Still, the Leading Index’s positive trajectory points to the region’s economic growth continuing at least through the third quarter of 2018. Other forecasts for the Washington region’s economy are pointing to these gains accelerating over the course of this year and likely continuing in 2019 before moderating for several years beginning in 2020.


More Reports

Washington Index (monthly, 1997 to present)
Download Excel File ›

Archived Washington Economy Watch Reports (as PDFs)
Washington Economy Watch Vol. II, No. 5 – May 2018
Washington Economy Watch Vol. II, No. 4 – April 2018
Washington Economy Watch Vol. II, No. 3 – March 2018
Washington Economy Watch Vol. II, No. 2 – February 2018
Washington Economy Watch Vol. II, No. 1 – January 2018
Washington Economy Watch Vol. I, No. 11 – November 2017
Washington Economy Watch Vol. I, No. 10 – October 2017
Washington Economy Watch Vol. I, No. 9 – September 2017
Washington Economy Watch Vol. I, No. 8 – August 2017
Washington Economy Watch Vol. I, No. 7 – July 2017
Washington Economy Watch Vol. I, No. 6 – June 2017
Washington Economy Watch Vol. I, No. 5 – May 2017
Washington Economy Watch Vol. I, No. 4 – April 2017
Washington Economy Watch Vol. I, No. 3 – March 2017
Washington Economy Watch Vol. I, No. 2 – February 2017
Washington Economy Watch Vol. I, No. 1 – January 2017