After A Two-Month Climb, Consumer Confidence Dips In Mid-April
Consumer confidence dipped over the past two weeks, according to the latest data from the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI). Declining 1 point to 46.4, this reading ends a steady two-month climb that brought the ESI to 2014 highs. However, looking more broadly at the ESI over the past few months, this decline in confidence did not erase recent gains.
Notably, the three-day rolling average experienced significant volatility over the two-week period, plunging 4.5 points over the course of three days. Previously, the three-day rolling average hit 2014 highs of 48.3. While the ESI remained close to those levels prior to the plunge in the middle of the two-week period, it never fully recovered.
Looking across all five components of the ESI, there was little to cheer about. In our last ESI reading, labor market confidence rose to a 12-month high of 37.3. However, over the past two weeks, labor market confidence fell 2.1 points. Additionally, confidence in buying a new home and making a major purchase both fell by more than 2 points. Confidence in the U.S. economy and personal finances remained close to their previous levels.
Yet, like the overall index, these declines were not enough to erase the substantial gains made over the past two months. In particular, at 35.2, the labor market confidence reading is still above its 2014 average. Moreover, recent gains have coincided with improved jobs numbers and declining initial unemployment claims, which reached its lowest level since October 2007 in the week ending on April 12th.
Below are all five questions included in the index:
- Over the next six months, do you expect your personal financial situation to get better, stay the same, or get worse?
- Given the current state of your local market, is now a good or bad time to purchase a new home?
- Given the current state of the economy, is now a good time or a bad time to make a major purchase like a new car or home improvements?
- Looking ahead six months, do you think the U.S. economy will get better, stay the same, or get worse?
- Over the next six months, do you think it will become easier or more difficult to find a new job?
The next release of the ESI will be Tuesday, May 6th.
About the Index
The HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (“ESI”) measures U.S. adults’ expectations for the economy going forward, as well as their feelings about current conditions for major purchases. The primary goal of the Index is to accurately measure movements in overall national economic sentiment, and to provide a more sophisticated alternative to existing economic sentiment indices. Unlike other prominent indices that release consumer sentiment estimates infrequently, the HPS-CivicScience Index is updated in real time as responses are collected continuously every hour, every day. Large-scale cross-tabulation of survey responses and consumer attributes enable more granular analyses than are currently possible through prevailing measures.
About Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS)
Hamilton Place Strategies is a policy, advocacy, and communications consulting firm with a focus and expertise at the intersection of government, business, and media.
CivicScience is a next-generation polling and data mining company. The company partners with hundreds of premier websites to survey millions of people every week. Proprietary technology then rapidly analyzes consumer opinion, discovers trends in real-time, and accurately predicts market outcomes. CivicScience is used by leading enterprises in an array of industries including marketing research, advertising, digital media, financial services, and political polling.