Economic Sentiment Continues Downward Trend Despite Highest Job Market Confidence Since 2018

Overall economic sentiment fell a full point to 49.3 over the past two weeks, according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI). Confidence in the job market soared to its highest level since 2018, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a drop in confidence in the housing market, personal finances, and the overall U.S. economy.  

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Despite the strong confidence in the job market (rising 3.2 points to 50.7), likely buoyed by the impressive March jobs report, three of the remaining four ESI indicators fell over the past two weeks:

– Confidence in the housing market tied for the sharpest drop in sentiment, declining 3.1 points to 43.9, its lowest value in a year.

– Consumer confidence in personal finances also fell 3.1 points, hitting a four-month low of 55.2.

– Overall sentiment towards the U.S. economy fell 2.7 points to 51.1.

– Yet, consumers’ confidence in making a major purchase reached a six-month high, inching up 0.4 points to 45.5.

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The moving average began on March 31 at 50.1. It fluctuated over the two-week period, reaching its second-highest value of 50.8 on April 2, when the March jobs report was released, and its overall high of 51.3 on April 8. The moving average hit its low of 46.5 on April 11 before closing at 46.8 on April 13.

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The next release of the ESI will be Wednesday, April 28, 2021.

Economic Sentiment Declines Following Year-Long High

Economic sentiment fell 1.1 points to 50.3, according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI). The decline comes on the heels of a month-long surge in confidence that peaked on March 16 with the highest reading since the pandemic declaration. The decline was driven by significant drops in confidence toward the U.S. economy and the housing market.  

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Three of the ESI indicators declined over the past two weeks despite increasing rates of vaccinations, implementation of the American Rescue Plan, and extension of the Paycheck Protection Program. As COVID-19 cases began to tick upwards over the past two weeks, confidence in the U.S. economy experienced a sharp decline, falling 2.8 points to 53.8. Meanwhile, ahead of what many experts expect to be a strong March jobs report, confidence in the job market continued to spike, rising 1.9 points to 47.5. This is the reading’s highest level since 2019, and a divergence from the other economic indicators.

The other indicators experienced the following movement:

– Confidence in the housing market declined sharply, falling 3.1 points to 47.0, its lowest level since April 2020.

– Confidence in personal finances fell 1.7 points to 58.3, retreating from its record-high reading.

– Consumer confidence in making a major purchase rose 0.5 points to 45.1, a new high for 2021.

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The moving average began on March 17 at its peak of 53.6. It steadily fell to its low of 48.8 on March 24 before entering a period of fluctuation, closing the reading at 50.1 on March 30.

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The next release of the ESI will be Wednesday, April 14, 2021.

Highest Economic Sentiment Since The Pandemic Declaration

Economic sentiment climbed 1.8 points to 51.4, its highest reading in a year, according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI). Over the two week period that marked the passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan (ARPA), consumer confidence rose to its highest level since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020.

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Economic sentiment climbed 1.8 points to 51.4, its highest reading in a year, according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI). With the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan (ARPA) signed into law, consumers have regained the most confidence they’ve had in the U.S. economy since before the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020.

– Confidence in the overall U.S. economy rose 1.2 points to a year-long high of 56.6.

– Housing market confidence went up 0.7 points to 50.1.

– Consumer confidence in making a major purchase increased 0.6 points to 44.6, a high for 2021.

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The moving average began on March 3 at 50.1 and rose throughout the two-week period, reaching its close, and peak, at 54.0 on March 16.

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The next release of the ESI will be Wednesday, March 31, 2021.

Economic Sentiment Rebounds, Its First Jump Since January

Economic sentiment surged over the past two weeks, rising 2.2 points to a reading of 49.6, according to the HPS-Civic Science Economic Sentiment Index (ESI).  With Congress seemingly on the cusp of sending a COVID-relief bill to President Biden’s desk and COVID cases decreasing across the country, economic sentiment rose for the first time in two months. The surge was driven by a significant boost in confidence towards the overall U.S. economy.

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All five of the ESI’s indicators rose over the past two weeks amidst better than expected economic data, House passage of the COVID-relief package, continued rollout of COVID vaccines, and new economic forecasts signaling strong U.S. economic growth in the months ahead. Confidence in the U.S. economy grew the most, rising by 5.6 points to 55.4, its largest jump since September.

The four other indicators rose at a more modest pace:

– Confidence in the job market increased 1.9 points to 43.1, its highest level since September.

– The consumer indicators of confidence in personal finances and making a major purchase rose 1.9 and 1.8 points, respectively.

– Confidence in the housing market increased slightly, moving up 0.1 point to 49.4.

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The moving average began at its low of 47.6 on February 17 and peaked on February 21 at 50.7. It then fluctuated within a 1.0 band for the remainder of the reading, closing at 49.1 on March 2.

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The next release of the ESI will be Wednesday, March 17, 2021.

Economic Sentiment Continues Its 2021 Rut

Overall economic sentiment fell during the first two weeks of February 2021, declining 0.3 points to a reading of 47.4, according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI). As Congressional debates over additional stimulus continue, wariness about the overall U.S. economy outweighed Americans’ boost in confidence in their personal finances and the job market.

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Three of the ESI’s five indicators declined over the past two weeks. Despite the Biden administration’s announcement of securing an additional 200 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, confidence in the U.S. economy fell the most, declining 1.1 points to 49.8, the lowest reading in 2021 and the first dip below 50 points since December 2020.

– Two other indicators declined: Confidence in making a major purchase dropped by 0.3 points to 42.2.

– Housing market confidence fell more significantly, dropping 0.9 points to 49.3.

Meanwhile, 49,000 jobs were gained in January, and Congress continues to debate the size and form of additional stimulus, which may partly explain why the final two indicators increased:

– Job market confidence saw a slight uptick of 0.2 points to 41.2 points, the highest reading since October 2020.

– Confidence in personal finance increased by 0.6 points to 54.5.

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The moving average began on February 3 at 48.0 and peaked on February 12 at 48.9 before a steady decline over the past few days, reaching its low and closing number of 45.4 on February 16.

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The next release of the ESI will be Wednesday, March 3, 2021.