Economic Sentiment Declines Slightly As Confidence In The U.S. Economy Wanes

Consumer confidence in the economy fell slightly in the past two weeks, according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI). Since Tuesday, April 18, consumer confidence has now dropped 0.7 points, from 51.4 to today’s reading of 50.7. The index now sits at its lowest level for 2017 since February, when the index fell to 49.9 on Tuesday, February 7. Of note, confidence in the U.S. economy continued it’s downward decline, setting it apart from other components of the index, which have remained at elevated levels.

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Consumers were significantly less optimistic in the broader U.S. economy with confidence dropping 2.2 points, from 48.1 to 45.9. Confidence in the U.S. economy is at it’s lowest level since the 2016 Election. Moreover, it’s steady decline since mid-March stands in stark contrast to other components of the ESI. Confidence in personal finances saw a second bump post-Election that it has maintained, while confidence in labor markets and making large purchases have retained their post-Election bump.

Over the past two weeks, consumers also lost confidence in both their personal finances and in making a major purchase. Confidence in personal finances fell 0.5 points to 63.6, while confidence in making a major purchase slid 0.5 points to 49.6.

Meanwhile, consumer confidence in the labor and housing market increased, with sentiment toward the labor market rising 1.2 points to 44.6. Economic sentiment toward the housing market climbed 0.1 points to 49.7. As has been the case in each reading for the past year, consumers remained most confident in their personal finances and least confident in the labor market.

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For much of the reading, the ESI’s three-day moving average hovered in the 50.0-52.0 point range, even reaching and sustaining its apex of 52.3 on Thursday, May 4 and Friday, May 5. However, the last four days of the reading resulted in a steady decline of the moving average, pulling the overall ESI down with it. The three-day moving average reached a new low on the final day of the reading, ending 2.3 points below its starting point at 49.0.

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The next release of the ESI will be May 30, 2017.

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.