Increased Confidence In Labor Market, Overall Economy Produce Modest Gain In Consumer Sentiment

Consumer confidence increased slightly over the past two weeks, according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI), rebounding from a plunge in confidence in the last reading. The ESI rose by 0.4 points to 53.7 over the past two weeks. The modest rise was driven by significant improvements in sentiment towards labor markets and the broader U.S. economy, which were largely offset by continued drops in the Major Purchases, Personal Finances and New Home indicators.

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Two of the ESI’s five indicators increased over the past two weeks. Consumer confidence in labor markets experienced the largest improvement, rising by 1.8 points to 46.0, while confidence in the broader U.S. economy rose 1.5 points to 49.7. These increases were largely balanced out by drops in other indicators. Confidence towards making a major purchase and housing markets both dropped by 0.4 points to 55.9 and 51.9, respectively. Consumer confidence in personal finances dropped 0.4 points to 65.0.

The moderate increase comes after the release of a better-than-expected jobs report for January, with unemployment remaining near 50-year lows and the labor force participation rate reaching a seven-year high. Weighing on the economy, however, is the continued threat posed by Covid-19 and its creeping impact on earnings.

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The three-day rolling average peaked shortly after the release of the January job numbers, reaching 54.8 on Feb. 9. It then experienced a steady decline, reaching its low of 52.8 on Feb 15 and again on February 17 before rebounding to end at 53.7 on Feb. 18.

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The next release of the ESI will be on Wednesday, March 4, 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.