Record Highs, Record Lows Reflect Mixed Bag For Consumer Confidence

Overall economic sentiment fell for a third time in four readings, as the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) dropped 0.5 points to 50.1. This week’s reading marks the breaking of two records: Confidence in the job market reached a record high for the second reading in a row (rising 4.1 points to 59.0) even as confidence in the housing market reached a record low, dropping 3.1 points to 38.4.

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Although vaccination rates continue to increase and states gradually begin to ease pandemic-related restrictions, the country’s economic recovery faces a variety of headwinds. April jobs numbers released last week landed well below expectations as the unemployment rate increased to 6.1%, while expectations of future inflation reached their highest point since 2013. In addition to record-low confidence in the housing market, the other ESI indicators to fall this reading were:

– Confidence in personal finances dropped 1.4 points to 57.4

– Confidence in the overall US economy dropped 1.3 points to 52.0

– Confidence in making a major purchase dropped 0.9 points to 43.6

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The ESI’s three-day moving average began this reading’s two-week stretch on April 28 at 51.9, rapidly dropping to its two-week low of 48.7 on April 30. It then picked up rapidly, peaking at 52.5 on May 3 before gradually dropping again and closing out the session at 50.6 on May 11.

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The next release of the ESI will be Wednesday, May 26, 2021.