Economic Sentiment Hits All-Time Low Amid Global Pandemic

Amid record stock swings, unemployment claims, and increasing state mandated stay-at-home orders, the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) plummeted 9.3 points over the past two weeks to 40.1. This is both the largest-ever two-week drop and the lowest-ever recording in the ESI’s history. The decline was led by staggering drops in confidence towards making a major purchase and personal finances, with both hitting record lows.

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Four of the ESI’s five indicators fell over the past two weeks. Confidence in making a major purchase fell by 18.0 points to 30.8, the sharpest decline and lowest level in the history of the ESI. Confidence in personal finances also fell at a staggering rate, dropping by 13.6 points to 45.0, both record lows. Confidence in the housing market ended its month long rise, falling 12.5 points to 41.9. Following record-high jobless claims, confidence in the job market also experienced a dip, falling 6.1 points to 32.0. Confidence in the U.S. economy was the sole indicator to rise, increasing on the heels of the passage of the $2 trillion CARES Act.

The massive decline follows a month of slumping confidence and comes amid new data revealing the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Wall Street had its worst quarter since 2008, and Main Street is also struggling as states across the country continue to implement stay-at-home orders , closing all non-essential businesses. To help alleviate these economic impacts, the U.S. government has pledged to inject nearly $6 trillion into the economy through the CARES Act and Federal Reserve action.

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The three-day rolling average started at its peak of 44.2 on March 18 and constantly fell to a low of 37.7 on March 22. The reading then experienced a bump, steadily rising before a drop to end the reading on at 40.6.

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The next release of the ESI will be on Wednesday, April 15, 2020.

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, and follow us on Twitter – @HPS_CS.

About Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS)

Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS) is an analytical public affairs consulting firm with offices in Washington, D.C. New York, and California. We integrate substantive analysis with communications and believe a deep understanding of business and economics leads to more effective public engagement and better outcomes for our clients.

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.