Following a sharp climb throughout December and the beginning of January, the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) dipped slightly from 53.3 to 52.8 over the last two weeks. The dip occurred on the heels of a strong growth period when the ESI jumped from 47.6 to 53.3. This time last year saw declines suggesting potential seasonal effects, but overall the index remains elevated. Of note, as we head into the Federal Reserve’s policy meetings today and tomorrow, confidence in finding a new job declined for the second reading in a row.
Consumer confidence continued its rise, albeit at a slower pace than December, with the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) increasing 0.4 points to 53.3. In particular, consumer confidence in making a major purchase increased sharply over the past two weeks on the heels of continued positive reports on the American economy. At 53.3, the ESI is now 9.6 points above its level from a year ago and 5.8 points above its level at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
Consumer confidence continues to surge as 2014 winds to a close, jumping 2.5 points to 52.9 during the past two weeks, according to the latest data from the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index. With strong jobs and GDP reports, declining oil prices, and the Dow closing above 18,000, consumer confidence has turned optimistic with confidence remaining above the 50-point threshold for the month of December. Further, confidence in the labor market spiked 4.3 points, which is the largest increase in the past 12-months. In total, the ESI jumped 5.3 points to 52.9 during the past month and is more than seven points higher than it was at this time last year.
Consumers turned more optimistic over the past two weeks with confidence soaring above 50, nearly a three point jump. This is the highest the HPS-Civic Science Index has reported over the past two years, passing the previous high from May 2013 of 49.3. The recent gains coincide with the drop in oil prices, which were expected to lead to a bump in consumer confidence according to data highlighted in the previous release. The index has been steadily rising since March of this year, but particularly since September when the index broke away from its steady trend at 46 to approach 50.
Consumer confidence dropped nearly two points, from 49.2 to 47.5, following a surge in the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) two weeks ago. Notably, the price of oil dropped below $70 a barrel at the start of the week in the wake of OPEC’s announcement that it will maintain current production levels. The sudden drop in prices follows nearly five months of declines. According to Goldman Sachs research, the drop in gas prices over the past six months is equal to a $75 billion tax cut.
Data from CivicScience lends support to the view that falling oil prices are boosting consumer confidence. Specifically, confidence has risen more than six points since October among those who are very concerned about gas prices. Conversely, confidence among those not concerned about gas prices at all has actually dipped during that time period. Meanwhile, confidence increased more than four points since October among those who are somewhat concerned about gas prices.
For the second week in a row, the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index surged upward due to a 4.3 point rise in confidence in the national economy. In the last two weeks of October, consumer confidence surged up nearly two points to 48.3, and over the past two weeks it continued to increase by nearly a point to 49.2. At 49.2, consumer confidence is more than seven points above where it was this time last year and appears to have strong momentum going into the closely-watched holiday shopping season. Previously in the year, the index had been fairly steady, holding around 46 since March.
Consumer confidence jumped nearly two points from two weeks ago, increasing from 46.5 to a 2014 high of 48.3 according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index. With growth across all five components of the index, the ESI reached its highest point since June 2013, breaking free from its seven-month long stay at around 46. The ESI’s measured increases are also reflected in other consumer sentiment reports, such as Thomson Reuters-University of Michigan and the Conference Board, suggesting a potential shift in consumer confidence in October.
Consumer confidence dipped down nearly a full point over the past two weeks from 47.5 to 46.6, according to the latest two-week moving average from the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI). After the slight bump two weeks ago, it appears consumer confidence is returning back to its seven-month trend of around 46. Noteworthy, despite declines and volatility in the stock market, the three-day rolling average remained relatively stable during the two-week period.
Consumer confidence bumped up in the past couple of weeks, increasing to 47.5 from 46.4, according to the latest data from the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI). Given the consistency of the index, it is unclear whether this increase represents a departure from the ESI’s six-month trend. At the same time, September’s strong jobs month may have helped boost the index. Overall, at 47.5, the index shows a more confident consumer than this time last year, but one who is still hesitant due to weak confidence in the U.S. economy and the labor market.
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With increased attention given to rising student debt levels, the question “Is college worth it?” is being asked more and more. To help answer this question, we examined the impact of both education levels and student debt on individuals’ economic confidence, using the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI).