US Shutdown Cuts GDP Growth


The advance US Sales Managers Index for October is the first all-sector survey to reveal the full extent of cuts in jobs and growth caused by the US Government budget conflict.

Sales Managers are at the front line of economic activity and collectively form a sensitive barometer of economic growth. They have witnessed significant falls in sales that are estimated to have cut US GDP in October by 2%.

SMI Headline Index registers significant drop in October
Government shutdown impacts negatively on sales
Instability in Washington affects business confidence 
Confidence, Market Growth, Sales, Prices and Jobs have all been negatively affected by the US Government wrangling in October. The latest research by World Economics shows that many sectors of the US economy have been hit – potentially shaving up to 2% off US GDP figures in October.

The overall Sales Managers’ Headline Index for October (calculated from an average of the Confidence, Growth, Price and Staffing Indexes), reflects the general state of the US economy. The Index suffered a sharp reversal in October, falling 7.3 points – an all-time low.

Confidence amongst Sales Managers’ fell in October – Panellists told World Economics that instability in Washington was making business conditions deteriorate rapidly.

Market and Sales Growth
Sales Managers’ reported that overall both Market Growth (in their industry) and Product Sales (in their company) have been heavily affected by the shutdown with Sales Growth falling sharply. One panellist said that the shutdown created ‘panic’. Profit warnings are likely to follow as a result.

World Economics Chief Executive Ed Jones commented on the release:  

“The US SMI for October is the very first survey to pick up on the effect of the shutdown – our research suggests the US may have lost as much as 2% in GDP growth during the budget conflict”.



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Market Growth






Sales Growth






Prices Charged






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Headline Sales Managers’ Index

Future Confidence Index

Sales Growth Index 


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F: +44 (0) 20 7326 8351 
E: [email protected]

A PDF of this release is available here.


The Sales Managers’ Index results are calculated by taking the percentage of respondents that report that the activity has risen (“Increasing”) and adding it to one-half of the percentage that report the activity has not changed (“Unchanged”). Using half of the “Unchanged” percentage effectively measures the bias toward a positive (above 50 points) or negative (below 50 points) index. An example of how to calculate a diffusion index: if the response is 40% “Increasing,” 40% “Unchanged,” and 20% “Reducing,” the Diffusion Index would be 60 points (40% + [0.50 x 40%]). A value of 50 indicates “no change” from the previous month.

The more distant the index is from the amount that would indicate “no change” (50 points), the greater the rate of change indicated. Therefore, an index value of 58 indicates a faster rate of increase than an index value of 53, and an index value of 40 indicates a faster rate of decrease than an index value of 45. A value of 100 indicates all respondents are reporting increased activity while 0 indicates that all respondents report decreased activity. 

About the Sales Managers’ Indexes

The Sales Managers’ Indexes are a series of new products available for Africa, Asia and the Americas, designed to raise the voice and profile of sales people throughout the world. The Sales Managers’ Indexes provide the earliest indication each and every month of the direction of economic activity, and the speed at which its markets are growing. 

Sales Managers are unique as an occupational group in being really at the front line of economic activity. The Sales Manager is ideally placed to feel the first few whispers of caution in the market or to see the new green shoots of economic recovery. 

The Sales Managers’ Index brings together the collective wisdom of Sales Managers and consequently produces the best and earliest source of understanding about what’s really happening in the Chinese economy. 

The Sales Managers’ Index has been developed by World Economics, a leading edge provider of original economic data. Sister products include the World Economics Journal, the World Price Index, the Global Marketing Index, as well as the China, India and Eurozone Growth Monitors. 

About World Economics

World Economics is an organisation dedicated to producing analysis, insight and data relating to questions of importance in understanding the world economy.

Currently our primary research objective is to encourage and assist the development of better and faster measures of economic activity. In cases where we believe we can contribute directly, as opposed to through highlighting the work of others, we are producing our own measures of economic activity. 

Our work is mainly of interest to investors, organisations and individuals in the financial sector and to significant corporations with global operations, as well as governments and academic economists.