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. 3 – March 2021
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The Washington Region’s Economy Remained Stagnant in January 2021
In January 2021, the Washington region’s economic recovery did not resume and conditions remained weak. The Coincident Index decreased 0.3 percent from December 2020 and 13.8 percent from January 2020. The Leading Index increased 0.8 percent from December 2020 and 0.4 percent from January 2020. Even with this modest improvement, conditions for the Leading Index remain mixed. Total building permits and durable goods sales had recovered, while initial unemployment insurance claims and consumer expectations had not recovered as of January 2021. The region’s economic performance continued to lag in February 2021, and job losses were modestly larger than in January 2021. Preliminary data for March indicate that the economic situation improved. Both consumer confidence in the present and consumer expectations rebounded, which will bolster growth going forward. In combination with the decreasing COVID-19 rates and increasing vaccination rates, the economic stagnation that occurred during the fall and winter should reverse in March and April, leading to economic growth.

 


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. 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