A Speckle Of Relief For Economic Sentiment

Economic sentiment experienced its first positive movement since early August, as the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) eked out a 0.3 gain, after an uptick in the ESI’s three-day moving average since September 25. Leading the charge were jumps in confidence in the housing market and finding a new job.

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Four of the ESI’s five indicators rose over the past two weeks. Confidence in the housing market rebounded slightly from its longstanding slide, rising 1.4 points to 32.0. The housing market showed signs of slowing in recent weeks as home-price growth eased. In the broader economy, there are indications that recent inflation may persist longer than expected, and unemployment numbers continue to be mixed. The ongoing congressional debates over President Biden’s agenda, the federal budget, and raising the debt ceiling may also weigh more heavily on consumers’ minds in coming readings. Here’s how the ESI’s other indicators moved:

– Confidence in finding a new job rose 1.2 points to 57.4

– Confidence in making a major purchase rose 1.0 point to 32.6

– Confidence in the overall U.S. economy rose 0.4 points to 37.1

– Confidence in personal finances dropped 2.7 points to 54.7

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The ESI’s three-day moving average began the two-week stretch at 43.8 on September 15, peaking the next day at 45.4. The moving average then declined, bottoming out at 39.3 on September 25 before quickly recovering and closing at 44.0 on September 28.

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