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. I, No. 9 – September 2017
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The Washington Region’s Economy Starts The Third Quarter With Sharp Gains
The Washington Leading and Coincident Indices were stronger in July than in June and continue pointing to a stronger performance in 2017 than in 2016.  While the region’s economy encountered some unevenness early in the year, its performance has improved each month since March and registered its strongest gains to date in July. The Coincident Index has increased each of the last four months with all of the Index’s four components contributing to its gains. The Leading Index has registered strong gains in 2017 with July’s monthly over-the-year increase being its largest gain in 32 months. This momentum is expected to continue through 2017 into next year with the region’s economy on track to achieving its strongest performance since 2010.


More Reports

Washington Index (monthly, 1997 to present)
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Archived Washington Economy Watch Reports
Washington Economy Watch Vol. I, No. 7 – August 2017
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Washington Economy Watch Vol. I, No. 6 – July 2017
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Washington Economy Watch Vol. I, No. 6 – June 2017
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Washington Economy Watch Vol. I, No. 5 – May 2017
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Washington Economy Watch Vol. I, No. 4 – April 2017
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Washington Economy Watch Vol. I, No. 3 – March 2017
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Washington Economy Watch Vol. I, No. 2 – February 2017
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Washington Economy Watch Vol. I, No. 1 – January 2017
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