Consumer Confidence Ends The Year At A Six-Month High

Today, Hamilton Place Strategies and CivicScience reported that the Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) continued to rise in the latter half of December, finishing the year with a two-week moving average of 46.3. This reading is the fifth consecutive rise in the two-week moving average since the government shutdown and brings the ESI back to levels not seen since July.

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While confidence levels remained elevated throughout most of December, the three-day rolling average ended at 43.4 for the year, the lowest reading since the beginning of the month.

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The ESI’s rise over the past two months is consistent with the trends of other economic indicators that are driving stronger growth forecasts in 2014. For example, while labor market weakness continues to be a drag on the index, confidence in the ability to find a new job has improved nearly 11 points since October and ends at its 2013 high.

At the same time, consumers’ personal financial outlook continues to rise. At a reading of 56.8, it ends the year as the highest component of the index, surpassing consumers’ view of the housing market, which was the strongest performing component throughout the year.

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All five questions in the index are below:

  • 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, January 14th.

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.

About CivicScience

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.