Economic Sentiment Recovers Slightly, Driven By Confidence In Personal Finances
Economic sentiment improved slightly over the past two weeks, on the heels of a nearly five point decrease the previous two weeks. The HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) rose 0.8 points to 30.4, largely driven by increases to confidence in personal finances and in the overall U.S. economy.
The ESI continues to be buoyed by how consumers feel about their own situation compared to the broader economy—confidence in personal finances rose 3.9 points to 46.4.
— Confidence in the overall U.S. economy rose 2.8 points to 28.1.
— Confidence in buying a new home rose 0.4 points to 18.6.
— Confidence in making a major purchase fell 0.9 points to 16.5.
But confidence in finding a new job fell 2.2 points to 42.3. Continuing unemployment claims have risen for three straight weeks. And the four-week average of new jobless claims rose to 223,500—the highest since late January.
Consumers are showing signs that they’re adapting to the growth in food and fuel prices. Over 15% of US adults said they opted for lower-priced alternatives for groceries in May, up more than 3 percentage points compared to April.
And the core price index, which measures prices outside of the volatile food and fuel sectors, climbed at a rate of 4.7% over the past 12 months, down from the prior reading of 4.9%.
The ESI’s three-day moving average began this two-week stretch at 28.2 on Wednesday, June 22. It hit a low of 28.1 on Saturday, June 25 before hitting the two-week high of 32.4 on Thursday, June 30. The moving average trended slightly downwards for the rest of the two weeks before a slight uptick over the holiday weekend to close out the session at 31.4.
The next release of the ESI will be Wednesday, July 20, 2022.