Consumer Confidence Falls To Lowest Levels Since October 2014

Consumer confidence continued to slide over the past two weeks, according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI), as significant declines in the stock market persisted throughout the latter half of January. The substantial 1.1 point drop in the ESI over the past two weeks means consumer confidence has declined for each reading in 2016 and has now reached its lowest level since the October 21 reading of 2014. The drop in consumer confidence throughout the month of January has occurred during sell-offs in stock markets around the world and a precipitous decline in the price of oil. Since closing on December 31, 2015, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen more than 1,500 points, including a 630 point slump since the January 12 reading of the ESI.

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For the first time since the February 24, 2015, reading, each of the five indicators declined over the past two weeks. Amidst uncertainty in the market, consumer confidence in personal finances experienced the largest decrease, falling 2.0 points to 58.7. Confidence in the housing market had the second largest decline, dropping 1.8 points to 52.5. Sentiment regarding the labor market fell by 1.3 points, to 36.0, while confidence in making a major purchase declined 0.6 points to 47.4. Confidence in the broader U.S. economy experienced only a slight decline of 0.1 points, falling from 39.2 to 39.1. Despite the declines across the board, consumers once again remained most confident in their personal finances and least confident in the labor market.

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The three-day rolling average started comparatively strong at the beginning of the reading, peaking on January 14 at 48.5, before dropping sharply starting on January 16 and hovering in the 45.5 – 47.4 range for the rest of the reading. The moving average reached its trough of 45.5 on January 19 before climbing back to the 47.4 by the end of the reading.

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The next release of the ESI will be February 9.

About the Index

The HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (“ESI”) is a “living” index that 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.

For a more detailed overview of the Index and the underlying methodology, please request a white paper.

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.

For more information, visit Hamilton Place Strategies by clicking here and follow them on Twitter – @HPSInsight.

About CivicScience

CivicScience, Inc. provides the leading intelligent polling and real-time consumer insights platform, the InsightStore™. Its proprietary platform powers the world’s opinions and quickly gets that data to the decision makers who care. Every day, CivicScience polls ask millions of people questions related to thousands of topics, while its powerful data science and big data technology analyzes current consumer opinions, discovers trends as they start, and accurately predicts future behaviors and market outcomes. CivicScience polls run on hundreds of premier websites, in addition to its own public polling site at CivicScience’s InsightStore™ is used by leading enterprises in marketing research, advertising, media, financial services, and political polling. For more information, visit CivicScience by clicking here and follow them on Twitter – @CivicScience.