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. 6 – June 2017
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The Washington Region’s Economy Continues To Grow Slowly Yet There Are Signs Pointing To Faster Growth Ahead
The Leading and Coincident Indices in April were both positive but the performance of the region’s economy lagged its post-Sequester trends. Still, the Leading Index’s forward-looking indicators are pointing to accelerating gains during the year’s second half.  While the Washington region’s economy continues to grow, its growth rate remains below its historic trend reflecting weakness in its core industry—the federal government—and indecision by investors and consumers due to the uncertainty of the FY 2018 budget cycle and potential changes in federal policy that could negatively impact the local economy. These uncertainties are reinforced by declines in federal employment and the slowing of federal procurement contracting during the early months of the new Administration.


More Reports

Washington Index (monthly, 1997 to present)
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Archived Washington Economy Watch Reports
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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