Consumer Confidence Continues To Slip With Record-Low Confidence On Purchasing A New Home

Economic sentiment fell for the third straight reading over the last two weeks, according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI), dropping 0.8 points to 47.9. Job market confidence tempered its record-breaking surge while confidence in the housing market continued to sink, setting a new all-time low for the third straight reading with a decline of 3.3 points to 32.5. Confidence in the housing market has now fallen 18.7 points from its 2021 high.

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Consumers continue to hold mixed feelings about the state of the U.S. economy and their personal financial positions. Despite the May jobs report showing the U.S. economy added 559,000 people to payrolls, wage growth data is still muddied and home prices continue to increase for a range of reasons. Confidence in the U.S. economy was the sole indicator to rise over the past two weeks, increasing 2.6 points to 52.0, far below its March high of 56.6. The rest of the indicators declined:

– Confidence in the housing market fell 3.3 points to 32.5, a record low.

– Consumer confidence in the job market fell 1.8 points to 58.7. It’s the first decline since April, but still 19.0 points higher than sentiment in January.

Confidence in personal finances fell 0.8 points to 56.8.

Confidence in making a major purchase sank 0.7 points to 39.3, its lowest level since May 2020.

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The three-day moving average began on May 26 at 48.4. It rose to its peak of 50.1 on May 31, then steadily declined, closing at its low of 46.2 on June 8.

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The next release of the ESI will be Wednesday, June 23, 2021.

Consumer Confidence In The Job And Housing Markets Continue To Diverge With Record-Setting Readings

Overall economic sentiment fell again over the last two weeks, according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI), dropping 1.4 points to 48.7. While job market confidence increased another 1.5 points to 60.5, an all-time high for the third reading in a row, housing market confidence tumbled 2.6 points to 35.8, a record low for the second consecutive reading.

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As COVID-19 restrictions dissipate, jobs are plentiful, but workers are not. Especially in lower-wage industries like hospitality, positions are widely available—but employers are struggling to fill them. On the other hand, intense demand and short supply are driving home prices to grow at the fastest pace in 15 years. These forces in the job and housing markets are tugging overall economic sentiment in polar opposite directions; the remaining three ESI indicators also display a mixed consumer confidence:

– Confidence in the U.S. economy dropped 2.6 points to 49.4.

– Consumer confidence in making a major purchase fell 3.6 points to 40.0, the lowest reading in 2021.

Confidence in personal finances ticked up 0.2 points to 57.6.

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The three-day moving average began on May 12 at 50.4 and declined for a week, hitting its low of 47.0 on May 19. It then rose to 51.0, its high this period, on May 24 and closed out at 49.9 on May 25.

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The next release of the ESI will be Wednesday, June 9, 2021.

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.

Confidence In The Job Market Swells To A Record-High Level

Economic sentiment ended its month-long slump, rising 1.3 points to 50.6 over the past two weeks, according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI). Confidence in the job market boosted overall confidence as it continued its meteoric rise, increasing 4.2 points to 54.9—the highest level in the ESI’s history.

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With over half of the U.S. population having received at least one vaccine shot, jobless claims reaching a pandemic low of only 547,000 last Thursday, and COVID-19 infection rates holding steady, consumers displayed a rising level of confidence over the past two weeks. In addition to record-setting job confidence, faith in the overall economy rose 2.2 points to 53.3. The other indicators were more mixed:

– Confidence in personal finances rose 3.6 points to 58.8, its second highest reading during the pandemic.

– Confidence in the tight housing market continued to drop, falling 2.4 points to 41.5, its lowest level in over a year.

– Consumers’ confidence in making a major purchase fell slightly from its previous six-month high, declining one point to 44.5.

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The moving average began on April 14 at 49.5 and dropped to its low on April 21 at 48.0. It then shot upwards, peaking on April 24 at 53.0 before declining slightly and closing the reading on April 27 at 51.9.

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The next release of the ESI will be Wednesday, May 12, 2021.

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.