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. V, No. 5 – August 2021
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The Region’s Recovery Slowed in June 2021
The Washington region’s economic recovery slowed in June 2021 and preliminary data suggest that this moderation continued in July and August. The Coincident Index decreased 1.0 percent between May 2021 and June 2021, driven by a decline in domestic air passenger volume. This decline was indicative of weak tourism activity that was also apparent in the jobs data. Local consumer activity increased incrementally in June and July and may have plateaued in August. Even with the improvement in the health metrics, the region’s rate of recovery was modest in June and July, overall. The Leading Index also decreased between May 2021 and June 2021, declining 1.0 percent with two of its four components weakening. All components also had smaller monthly over-the-year gains than in prior months. Altogether, the economic data indicate that the economic recovery will continue to be slow and incremental in upcoming months.


More Reports

Washington Index (monthly, 1997 to present)
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Archived Washington Economy Watch Reports (as PDFs)
Washington Economy Watch Vol. V, No. 4 – 2Q 2021
Washington Economy Watch Vol. V, No. 3 – March 2021
Washington Economy Watch Vol. V, No. 2 – February 2021
Washington Economy Watch Vol. V, No. 1 – January 2021
Washington Economy Watch Vol. IV, No. 10 – Nov/Dec 2020
Washington Economy Watch Vol. IV, No. 9 – Sep/Oct 2020
Washington Economy Watch Vol. IV, No. 8 – August 2020
Washington Economy Watch Vol. IV, No. 7 – July 2020
Washington Economy Watch Vol. IV, No. 6 – June 2020
Washington Economy Watch Vol. IV, No. 5 – May 2020
Washington Economy Watch Vol. IV, No. 4 – April 2020
Washington Economy Watch Vol. IV, No. 3 – March 2020
Washington Economy Watch Vol. IV, No. 2 – February 2020
Washington Economy Watch Vol. IV, No. 1 – January 2020
Washington Economy Watch Vol. III, No. 11 – November 2019
Washington Economy Watch Vol. IV, No. 1 – January 2020
Washington Economy Watch Vol. III, No. 11 – November 2019
Washington Economy Watch Vol. III, No. 10 – October 2019
Washington Economy Watch Vol. III, No. 8 – August 2019
Washington Economy Watch Vol. III, No. 9 – September 2019
Washington Economy Watch Vol. III, No. 8 – August 2019
Washington Economy Watch Vol. III, No. 7 – July 2019
Washington Economy Watch Vol. III, No. 6 – June 2019
Washington Economy Watch Vol. III, No. 5 – May 2019
Washington Economy Watch Vol. III, No. 4 – April 2019
Washington Economy Watch Vol. III, No. 3 – March 2019
Washington Economy Watch Vol. III, No. 2 – February 2019
Washington Economy Watch Vol. III, No. 1 – January 2019
Washington Economy Watch Vol. II, No. 11 – November 2018
Washington Economy Watch Vol. II, No. 10 – October 2018
Washington Economy Watch Vol. II, No. 9 – September 2018
Washington Economy Watch Vol. II, No. 8 – August 2018
Washington Economy Watch Vol. II, No. 7 – July 2018
Washington Economy Watch Vol. II, No. 6 – June 2018
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