Index of Memphis Economic Activity (iMEA)

  • Private Jobs: +0.95%

  • Real Sales Tax: +7.59%

  • Housing Permits: -7.8%

  • Unemployment: +0.1%


About the iMEA

The iMEA is comprised of four local economic data series, which when grouped together in a monthly index format, provides a means of measuring the relative level of growth or decline within a local economy over time. The index is comprised of these four economic data series with their relative “weights” in parenthesis:

  1. Memphis MSA Private Employment: 50%

  2. Inflation-adjusted Shelby County Sales Tax Collections: 25%

  3. Memphis MSA Housing Permits: 15%

  4. Memphis MSA Unemployment Rate: 10%

These four data series are combined into an aggregate index and have a base year value of 100 in 2015.. The iMEA is calculated on a year over year basis, thus avoiding any seasonality adjustment. For example, if the May 2018 index stood at 108.0 while the May 2019 reading was 112.0, then the conclusion would be that the Memphis MSA is growing at a 3.7 percent annual rate as of May 2019.

Data Sources:

  • Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development

  • Tennessee Departments of Revenue

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics

  • St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank

  • Bureau of the Census