Author Archives: Anna Eapen

Consumer Confidence Hits 14-Month Low Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

As the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) brings countries and the global economy to a standstill, consumer confidence continued its drastic decline, slipping to its lowest point in over a year. The HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) followed last reading’s fall of 1.9 points with a 2.4 point drop to land at 49.4, its lowest reading since January 2019.

As countries face disruptions to global supply chains and consumer demand shifts to reflect social distancing measures and closed businesses, consumer sentiment towards the labor market, personal finances, and making a major purchase have all plummeted. On the other hand, sentiment toward the broader US economy has improved, and confidence in the housing market remains strong.


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Three of the ESI’s indicators fell over the past two weeks. Consumer confidence in the labor market fell the most, plummeting by 5.3 points to 38.1, its lowest reading since 2015. Sentiment toward personal finances and making a major purchase decreased by 5.2 and 4.8 points, respectively. Meanwhile, consumer confidence in the broader U.S. economy improved by 2.3 points to 47.0, and sentiment toward the housing market increased by 1.1 points to 54.4.

The stark decline continues the overall downward trend since the start of year, and comes amid the rapidly evolving COVID-19 crisis. As countries around the world move to contain the pandemic, the U.S. has seen stock markets plummet and the Federal Reserve cut interest rates to zero and promise to buy at least $700 billion in government and mortgage-related bonds. Meanwhile, state governments are taking action to slow the spread of the virus and encourage social distancing, resulting in slowed economic activity both in the U.S. and abroad.


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The three-day rolling average started at 51.1 and remained relatively steady before hitting its peak of 52.4 on March 11. It then declined to reach a low of 44.2 on March 16 before closing the reading on a slight upswing, ending at 45.5.


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The next release of the ESI will be on Wednesday, April 1, 2020.

About the Index

The HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (“ESI”) is a “living” index that measures U.S. adults’ expectations for the economy going forward, as well as their feelings about current conditions for major purchases. The primary goal of the Index is to accurately measure movements in overall national economic sentiment, and to provide a more sophisticated alternative to existing economic sentiment indices. Unlike other prominent indices that release consumer sentiment estimates infrequently, the HPS-CivicScience Index is updated in real time as responses are collected continuously every hour, every day. Large-scale cross-tabulation of survey responses and consumer attributes enable more granular analyses than are currently possible through prevailing measures.

For a more detailed overview of the Index and the underlying methodology, please request a white paper, and follow us on Twitter – @HPS_CS.

About Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS)

Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS) is an analytical public affairs consulting firm with offices in Washington, D.C. New York, and California. We integrate substantive analysis with communications and believe a deep understanding of business and economics leads to more effective public engagement and better outcomes for our clients.

For more information, visit Hamilton Place Strategies by clicking here and follow them on Twitter – @HPSInsight.

About CivicScience

CivicScience, Inc. provides the leading intelligent polling and real-time consumer insights platform, the InsightStore™. Its proprietary platform powers the world’s opinions and quickly gets that data to the decision makers who care. Every day, CivicScience polls ask millions of people questions related to thousands of topics, while its powerful data science and big data technology analyzes current consumer opinions, discovers trends as they start, and accurately predicts future behaviors and market outcomes. CivicScience polls run on hundreds of premier websites, in addition to its own public polling site at www.civicscience.com. CivicScience’s InsightStore™ is used by leading enterprises in marketing research, advertising, media, financial services, and political polling. For more information, visit CivicScience by clicking here and follow them on Twitter – @CivicScience.

Rebound In Consumer Confidence Short-Lived As Economic Sentiment Drops Sharply Over Fears About The U.S. Economy

Consumer confidence fell considerably over the past two weeks, according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI), following a slight uptick in confidence in the last reading. The ESI fell 1.9 points over the past two weeks. Fueling the drop was a drastic decrease of 5.0 points in confidence in the overall U.S. economy. Counterintuitively, confidence in the housing market rose to a 12-month high.


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Four of the ESI’s five indicators fell over the past two weeks. Confidence in the broader U.S. economy dropped the most drastically, falling 5.0 points to 44.7, its largest drop since August 2019. Confidence in labor markets fell by 2.6 points and confidence in making a major purchase fell by 2.3 points, to 43.4 and 53.6, respectively. Confidence in personal finances posted a more modest decline, falling 1.2 points to 63.8. The only indicator to rise over the past two weeks was confidence in the housing market, which rose 1.4 points to 53.3.

The sharp decline in consumer confidence comes as uncertainty grows surrounding the economic impact of the global coronavirus epidemic. U.S. stocks last week suffered their worst weekly losses since the 2008 financial crisis. New home sales, however, jumped 7.9% in January — to the highest level since July 2007 — according to Commerce Department data released last week. Relatedly, 30-year mortgage rates reached their lowest rates in February since July 2016, according to Freddie Mac data.


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The three-day moving average began the two-week stretch by posting substantial increases, peaking at 55.6 on February 21. It then experienced a steady decline, rebounding slightly on February 25 and 26 before declining more dramatically. After hitting a two-week low of 47.8 on March 2, the moving average rebounded, ending at 49.7 on March 3.


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The next release of the ESI will be on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

About the Index

The HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (“ESI”) is a “living” index that measures U.S. adults’ expectations for the economy going forward, as well as their feelings about current conditions for major purchases. The primary goal of the Index is to accurately measure movements in overall national economic sentiment, and to provide a more sophisticated alternative to existing economic sentiment indices. Unlike other prominent indices that release consumer sentiment estimates infrequently, the HPS-CivicScience Index is updated in real time as responses are collected continuously every hour, every day. Large-scale cross-tabulation of survey responses and consumer attributes enable more granular analyses than are currently possible through prevailing measures.

For a more detailed overview of the Index and the underlying methodology, please request a white paper, and follow us on Twitter – @HPS_CS.

About Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS)

Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS) is an analytical public affairs consulting firm with offices in Washington, D.C. New York, and California. We integrate substantive analysis with communications and believe a deep understanding of business and economics leads to more effective public engagement and better outcomes for our clients.

For more information, visit Hamilton Place Strategies by clicking here and follow them on Twitter – @HPSInsight.

About CivicScience

CivicScience, Inc. provides the leading intelligent polling and real-time consumer insights platform, the InsightStore™. Its proprietary platform powers the world’s opinions and quickly gets that data to the decision makers who care. Every day, CivicScience polls ask millions of people questions related to thousands of topics, while its powerful data science and big data technology analyzes current consumer opinions, discovers trends as they start, and accurately predicts future behaviors and market outcomes. CivicScience polls run on hundreds of premier websites, in addition to its own public polling site at www.civicscience.com. CivicScience’s InsightStore™ is used by leading enterprises in marketing research, advertising, media, financial services, and political polling. For more information, visit CivicScience by clicking here and follow them on Twitter – @CivicScience.

Increased Confidence In Labor Market, Overall Economy Produce Modest Gain In Consumer Sentiment

Consumer confidence increased slightly over the past two weeks, according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI), rebounding from a plunge in confidence in the last reading. The ESI rose by 0.4 points to 53.7 over the past two weeks. The modest rise was driven by significant improvements in sentiment towards labor markets and the broader U.S. economy, which were largely offset by continued drops in the Major Purchases, Personal Finances and New Home indicators.


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Two of the ESI’s five indicators increased over the past two weeks. Consumer confidence in labor markets experienced the largest improvement, rising by 1.8 points to 46.0, while confidence in the broader U.S. economy rose 1.5 points to 49.7. These increases were largely balanced out by drops in other indicators. Confidence towards making a major purchase and housing markets both dropped by 0.4 points to 55.9 and 51.9, respectively. Consumer confidence in personal finances dropped 0.4 points to 65.0.

The moderate increase comes after the release of a better-than-expected jobs report for January, with unemployment remaining near 50-year lows and the labor force participation rate reaching a seven-year high. Weighing on the economy, however, is the continued threat posed by Covid-19 and its creeping impact on earnings.


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The three-day rolling average peaked shortly after the release of the January job numbers, reaching 54.8 on Feb. 9. It then experienced a steady decline, reaching its low of 52.8 on Feb 15 and again on February 17 before rebounding to end at 53.7 on Feb. 18.


Click here to view image.

The next release of the ESI will be on Wednesday, March 4, 2020.

About the Index

The HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (“ESI”) is a “living” index that measures U.S. adults’ expectations for the economy going forward, as well as their feelings about current conditions for major purchases. The primary goal of the Index is to accurately measure movements in overall national economic sentiment, and to provide a more sophisticated alternative to existing economic sentiment indices. Unlike other prominent indices that release consumer sentiment estimates infrequently, the HPS-CivicScience Index is updated in real time as responses are collected continuously every hour, every day. Large-scale cross-tabulation of survey responses and consumer attributes enable more granular analyses than are currently possible through prevailing measures.

For a more detailed overview of the Index and the underlying methodology, please request a white paper, and follow us on Twitter – @HPS_CS.

About Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS)

Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS) is an analytical public affairs consulting firm with offices in Washington, D.C. New York, and California. We integrate substantive analysis with communications and believe a deep understanding of business and economics leads to more effective public engagement and better outcomes for our clients.

For more information, visit Hamilton Place Strategies by clicking here and follow them on Twitter – @HPSInsight.

About CivicScience

CivicScience, Inc. provides the leading intelligent polling and real-time consumer insights platform, the InsightStore™. Its proprietary platform powers the world’s opinions and quickly gets that data to the decision makers who care. Every day, CivicScience polls ask millions of people questions related to thousands of topics, while its powerful data science and big data technology analyzes current consumer opinions, discovers trends as they start, and accurately predicts future behaviors and market outcomes. CivicScience polls run on hundreds of premier websites, in addition to its own public polling site at www.civicscience.com. CivicScience’s InsightStore™ is used by leading enterprises in marketing research, advertising, media, financial services, and political polling. For more information, visit CivicScience by clicking here and follow them on Twitter – @CivicScience.

Consumer Confidence Rebounds To Highest Level In Nearly Two Years

Consumer confidence rebounded significantly over the past two weeks, according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI). Following last reading’s decline of 1.2 points, the ESI moved up by 2.5 points during this reading to reach 54.5, its highest level since February 2018’s reading of 55.6. The rebound was led by large increases in consumer confidence in making a major purchase and confidence toward the labor market.


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Four of the ESI’s five indicators increased over the past two weeks. Consumer confidence in making a major purchase experienced the largest improvement, rising by 3.7 points to 57.4. Sentiment toward the labor and housing markets also jumped by similar amounts, moving up 3.5 and 3.3 points, respectively. Consumer confidence in the broader U.S. economy also improved, increasing by 2.5 points. Meanwhile, the only indicator to drop was confidence in personal finances, which declined by 0.6 points to 65.5.

The rebound comes on the heels of several positive economic signals, including the long-awaited signing of the U.S.-China phase one trade deal and a solid December jobs report that concluded 2019’s significant job growth of over 2.1 million jobs. Additionally, earnings season kicked off to a strong start, with several American banks reporting better-than-expected earnings.


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The three-day rolling average started off the last two-week period on the upswing, rising from 50.7 on January 8 to a peak of 56.4 on January 11. The moving average then dropped a little before leveling out to end the reading period at 55.0.


Click here to view image.

The next release of the ESI will be on Tuesday, February 4, 2020.

About the Index

The HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (“ESI”) is a “living” index that measures U.S. adults’ expectations for the economy going forward, as well as their feelings about current conditions for major purchases. The primary goal of the Index is to accurately measure movements in overall national economic sentiment, and to provide a more sophisticated alternative to existing economic sentiment indices. Unlike other prominent indices that release consumer sentiment estimates infrequently, the HPS-CivicScience Index is updated in real time as responses are collected continuously every hour, every day. Large-scale cross-tabulation of survey responses and consumer attributes enable more granular analyses than are currently possible through prevailing measures.

For a more detailed overview of the Index and the underlying methodology, please request a white paper, and follow us on Twitter – @HPS_CS.

About Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS)

Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS) is an analytical public affairs consulting firm with offices in Washington, D.C. New York, and California. We integrate substantive analysis with communications and believe a deep understanding of business and economics leads to more effective public engagement and better outcomes for our clients.

For more information, visit Hamilton Place Strategies by clicking here and follow them on Twitter – @HPSInsight.

About CivicScience

CivicScience, Inc. provides the leading intelligent polling and real-time consumer insights platform, the InsightStore™. Its proprietary platform powers the world’s opinions and quickly gets that data to the decision makers who care. Every day, CivicScience polls ask millions of people questions related to thousands of topics, while its powerful data science and big data technology analyzes current consumer opinions, discovers trends as they start, and accurately predicts future behaviors and market outcomes. CivicScience polls run on hundreds of premier websites, in addition to its own public polling site at www.civicscience.com. CivicScience’s InsightStore™ is used by leading enterprises in marketing research, advertising, media, financial services, and political polling. For more information, visit CivicScience by clicking here and follow them on Twitter – @CivicScience.