Author Archives: Anna Eapen

Economic Sentiment Posts An Optimistic Start To 2021

As Americans say goodbye to the difficult year that was 2020 and ring in the New Year, consumers are expressing heightened confidence in 2021’s first reading of the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI). Economic sentiment continued its month-long upward trend, posting an increase (1.4 points to 48.3) for the third straight reading following the enactment of a second COVID-19 relief bill and continued deployment of a COVID vaccine.

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Four of the five individual indicators rose during the two-week reading period. The largest increase was in confidence in the job market, which rose 2.7 points to 41.1. Confidence in the labor market has now risen 6.3 points over the past month, despite November’s stagnant jobs report and persistently high weekly unemployment claims. The consumer-centric indicators also received steady bumps, as confidence in making a major purchase and personal finances rose 2.5 and 1.7 points, respectively. Confidence in the overall U.S. economy followed last reading’s substantial increase with a muted, 0.4-point jump, entering 2021 at 50.7. 2020’s hottest indicator, the housing market, was the sole indicator to decline, falling by 0.3 points to 49.0.

The reading’s increase moves the ESI to confidence levels not seen since October and follows on the heels of the enactment of a $900B COVID-19 relief bill. The U.S. continued its vaccine rollout over the holidays, but two issues may impact future readings. Vaccine deployment delays across the country have stoked concerns about a slower pace of vaccination that could prolong the impact of the pandemic. Those concerns were exacerbated by the news that December was the deadliest month of the pandemic, as over 77,000 people lost their lives in the U.S. and experts remain worried that January may also be difficult following a holiday surge and the potential spread of a more contagious COVID-19 variant.

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The ESI’s three-day moving average fluctuated heavily over the past two weeks, beginning at 48.0 before dropping to its reading low of 46.4 on December 26. The moving average then steadily increased, peaking at 51.7 on January 2 before falling significantly to close the reading at 46.9.

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The next release of the ESI will be on Wednesday, January 20, 2021.

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.

Economic Sentiment Continues To Improve Ahead Of The New Year

Consumer economic sentiment continued its recovery for a second straight reading as lawmakers passed a new COVID-19 relief bill and Americans enjoy a modified holiday season. The latest reading of the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) showed an increase of 1.2 points to 46.9, led by a 3.4-point jump in confidence in the broader economy.

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Four of the five individual indicators improved during the two-week reading period. The largest increase was in confidence in the broader economy, whose 3.4-point jump represents the biggest improvement in the indicator since September 2020. Confidence in personal finances and the labor market also experienced a substantial increase, improving by 2.8 and 2.4 points, respectively. Confidence in the housing market also moved up by 1.7 points to reach 49.3. In contrast, on the heels of the holiday shopping season, confidence in making a major purchase dropped by 4.1 points—the largest drop in the indicator since the start of the pandemic in March.

The steady improvement in confidence over the past two weeks comes as Congress passed a long-awaited and much-debated $900B relief bill, and as health care workers, senior citizens, and others receive the initial wave of Moderna and Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines. Still, several areas of the U.S. are grappling with a post-Thanksgiving coronavirus surge and facing potential re-implementation of restrictions to minimize the spread. As the effects of the pandemic continue to hit pocketbooks, consumer spending by way of holiday shopping is expected to be weaker this year.

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The ESI’s three-day moving average held relatively steady over the past two weeks, beginning at 45.6 before dropping to a low of 45.5 on December 14. The moving average peaked at 48.4 on December 18, and subsequently dropped back down to close out the reading at 46.3 on December 22.

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The next release of the ESI will be on Wednesday, January 6, 2021.

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.

Economic Sentiment Deepens Its Decline Heading Into The Holiday Season

Consumer economic sentiment plunged for the third straight reading as COVID-19 cases surge to their highest levels during the pandemic and many Americans prepare for a modified holiday season. The latest reading of the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) showed a drop of 3.4 points to 44.4, the largest decline in sentiment since March. The ESI has now fallen 6.9 points since October, led by a remarkable 8.8-point decline in confidence toward the U.S. economy.


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Four of the five individual indicators fell during the two-week reading period. The largest decline was a record-setting drop in confidence toward the U.S. economy, which fell by an unprecedented 8.3 points. This dwarfs the previous record—a 6.0-point decline—set back in July, and comes as many experts fear that the new wave of COVID infections could have a significant impact on economic growth. Confidence in the labor market also experienced a substantial decline, falling 4.4 points to 34.8. Confidence in the labor market has now fallen 7.2 points over the past three readings, returning to a trough not seen since the summer. Confidence in the hot housing market also declined, with the indicator falling 3.0 points, moving the previously outlying positive indicator back in line with overall ESI trends. Confidence in making a major purchase dropped 1.5 points heading into the holiday shopping season. Lastly, confidence in personal finances was the sole indicator to rise, increasing 0.1 points to 53.7.

The decline in confidence over the past two weeks comes as COVID-19 case numbers have risen above 100,000 for over 20 consecutive days and hospitals continue to experience record-high numbers of COVID-19 patients. States across the country are beginning to reimpose restrictions to slow the spread, and there is growing concern the surge will negatively impact the economy. For the first time in over a month, the number of Americans filing for unemployment claims increased last week, and new data reveals a wide gap in unemployment between those in high and low earning industries, with the highest earners recovering significantly more quickly. This economic uncertainty may manifest in lower consumer spending during the holiday season, as polls show consumers are less likely to buy a gift for themselves and more than twice as many say they will be spending less versus more than last year. Despite rising concerns, there continues to be little movement on a federal economic stimulus package, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he will not extend most of the Federal Reserve’s emergency lending programs.


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The ESI’s three-day moving average peaked at 49.3 on November 12, before experiencing a precipitous drop, falling to its low of 42.4 on November 21. The moving average slightly rebounded at the end of the reading, closing out at 45.7.


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The next release of the ESI will be on Wednesday, December 9, 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.

Post-Election Economic Sentiment Plunges Amid Worsening Pandemic

Consumer economic sentiment saw its second consecutive decline in the wake of a drawn-out election and rapidly climbing COVID-19 cases. The latest reading of the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) showed a drop of 2.2 points to 47.8, most of which occurred after election day according to the three-day moving average. This ties with a drop in July as the ESI’s most significant single-reading drop since March’s 9.3-point plunge at the outset of the pandemic.


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In the first reading following the win of President-elect Joe Biden, all five the ESI’s individual indicators fell during the two-week reading period. The largest decline was a 3.6-point drop in confidence in personal finances, followed closely by a 3.5-point drop in confidence in making a major purchase. Consumer sentiment toward the housing market and broader U.S. economy also fell by 1.8 and 1.2 points, respectively. The indicator that showed the smallest loss was confidence in the job market, which dropped by 0.8 points down to 39.2.

The decline in confidence over the past two weeks comes as the public turns away from election news coverage and grapples with the rise in new virus cases. Just yesterday, the U.S. saw 135,000 new coronavirus cases and 1,403 additional deaths, sparking concerns over hospital capacity and renewed efforts to slow the spread. While the latest jobs report showed signs of a continued rebound, experts remain concerned about long-lasting effects. The sizeable drop in how people are feeling about their wallets ahead of the holiday season—particularly the loss in the personal finance and major purchase indicators— lines up with the Bureau of Economic Analysis’s recent finding that personal income fell significantly even as GDP grew, adding to the sense of urgency for Congress to pass another stimulus package.


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The ESI’s three-day moving average began the two-week stretch at 48.8, rising to its two-week high of 50.2 on November 2. The moving average fell to its low of 44.8 on November 8 before bouncing back to close out the reading at 47.0 points.


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The next release of the ESI will be on Tuesday, November 24, 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.

Economic Sentiment Declines As The Country Faces A “Third Wave”

Consumer economic sentiment saw its first decline in over two months as the country experiences an uptick in new COVID-19 cases, averaging 71,000 new cases a day over the past week. The latest reading of the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) declined 1.3 points to 50.0, marking its first drop in confidence since August 18 and mirroring the month-long decline beginning in late June as the nation experienced a COVID “summer surge.”


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In the last reading before Election Day, four of the ESI’s five individual indicators fell during the two-week reading period. The largest decline was a 2.8 point drop in confidence toward the housing market, falling to 52.8, its lowest reading since May. Following close behind was a 2.0 drop in the job market, which is now 3.4 points below its September high of 43.4. Confidence in making a major purchase and in personal finances also fell, declining by 1.3 and 1.0 points, respectively. Confidence in the U.S. economy was the sole indicator to rise during the reading, increasing 0.7 points to 54.8, continuing the trend of a significant divergence of confidence in the economy compared to the job market.

The decline in confidence over the past two weeks comes as the rise in new virus cases has many experts concerned the country is entering a third wave of the COVID outbreak heading into the winter months, with states in the Midwest and Mountain West bearing the brunt of the increase. Congressional deadlock over a new round of stimulus funding and rising case levels are helping drive market uncertainty and inching the nation closer to the expiration of enhanced programs for unemployed workers in December.


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The ESI’s three-day moving average began the two-week stretch at 49.8, rising to its two-week high of 51.5 on October 18. The moving average fell to its low of 48.6 on October 22 before closing out the reading with a period of significant fluctuation, ending at 50.0.


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The next release of the ESI will be on Wednesday, November 11, 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.

Economic Sentiment Steady After Turbulent Two Weeks

Overall economic sentiment held steady over the course of a turbulent early October. After a two-week stretch during which the President contracted COVID-19, the odds of a Democratic electoral sweep grew, and the prospects of renewed economic stimulus were revived, the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) hung on at 51.5.


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Though overall economic sentiment posted no changes over the past two weeks, the ESI’s five indicators did make moves. Making the biggest gain was confidence in personal finances, which rose 2.1 points to 58.2. Also rising were confidence in making a major purchase (up 0.7 points to 46.7) and confidence in the housing market (up 0.5 points to 55.6). Weighing these improvements down were decreases in the ESI’s remaining two indicators: confidence in the overall US economy declined 1.7 points, to 54.1, while confidence in finding a new job dropped 1.4 points, to 42.0. The latest reading marks the first time these two indicators have dropped since early July.

Politics dominated the headlines over the two-week period, notably the news that President Trump contracted, and was subsequently hospitalized for, COVID-19. The period also saw the President’s Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, build out his national and swing-state lead in the polls, with heightened expectations for a Democratic sweep of the presidency and both houses of Congress. In a move that may have a direct impact on Americans’ wallets, the President reversed course and endorsed another round of economic stimulus including $1,200 checks. Heightened expectations for stimulus pushed stocks to their best week since July.


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The ESI’s three-day moving average began the two-week stretch at 52.7, rising to its two-week high of 53.5 on October 2, before beginning a gradual decline. The moving average spiked briefly on October 6—the day the President signaled his support for a new round of economic stimulus—before falling to its two-week low of 48.8 on October 12, and then closing out the two-week stretch at 48.9.


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The next release of the ESI will be on Wednesday, October 28, 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.

Economic Sentiment Chugs Upwards For The Third Straight Reading

Economic sentiment continued its steady climb over the past two weeks, increasing for the third straight reading. The HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) jumped up 0.8 points to 51.3, driven largely by a boost in confidence in the job market and the U.S. economy. This reading is the third highest for the U.S. economy indicator in the ESI’s history. The ESI has now risen 4.7 points since August 18.


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Four of the ESI’s five indicators rose this week, with confidence in the job market rising the most with an increase of 2.5 points. The job market indicator now sits at 43.4, tying its level on March 3 and reaching levels that were sustained before the onset of the pandemic. Confidence in the U.S. economy also rose substantially, increasing 1.7 points to 55.8. Confidence in personal finances and the housing markets also rose by 1.4 and 1.1 points, respectively. Confidence in making a major purchase was the sole indicator to decline, dropping 2.6 points to 46.0. This reverses course from its surge during the last reading.

The sustained growth in confidence comes as the U.S. surpassed the grave milestone of 200,000 deaths due to COVID-19 and more than 1 million deaths have been recorded globally. Despite Democrats and Republicans unveiling new curtailed COVID-stimulus packages, the likelihood of Congressional action remains low as the Senate prepares for the Supreme Court nomination process. New data also points to a slowing of the job market as jobless claims remained steady in September at just under 900,000 a week. The job postings on Indeed for the highest-paying jobs on the site are down 24%, with low-wage and middle-wage jobs down 12% and 18%, respectively. The housing market has, however, continued to boom as U.S. existing home sales surged to their highest level in nearly 14 years, setting a new record for average home price.


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The ESI’s three-day moving average began the two-week stretch at 50.6 and peaked on September 18 and 19 at 53.5, before falling to its low of 48.9 on September 21. It then had a sporadic climb to close the two-week stretch at 52.0.


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The next release of the ESI will be on Wednesday, October 14, 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.

Economic Sentiment Continues Rally, Posts Modest Increase

Economic sentiment posted a modest increase over the past two weeks, following a significant spike in late August. The HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) inched upwards by 0.5 points to 50.5, driven largely by a boost in confidence in making a major purchase.


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The ESI’s five indicators posted somewhat differing results over the past two weeks. The biggest gain was in confidence in making a major purchase, which rose 2.2 points to 48.6. Also rising were confidence in the overall US economy (up 1.3 points to 54.1) and confidence in finding a new job (up 0.5 points to 40.9). Weighing the index down were slight declines in the ESI’s two other indicators: confidence in the housing market decreased by 1.2 points to 54.0, while confidence in personal finances declined 0.7 points to 54.7.

The slight uptick in sentiment comes on the heels of mixed economic news. August’s strong jobs data, released on September 4, showed the addition of 1.4 million jobs and a decline in the US unemployment rate to 8.4% from 10.2% in July. Overall US COVID-19 infection rates continue to drop from their summer peak. Stocks, however, were erratic over the two-week period. After the best August since 1986, stocks posted declines in the first weeks of September; the Nasdaq, for example, fell 4.1 percent between September 4 and September 11, its worst week since March. The housing market, meanwhile, faces pressures from record-high lumber prices, which are adding $16,000 on average to the price of a new home, according to the National Association of Home Builders.


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The ESI’s three-day moving average began the two-week stretch at 51.9, falling to its low of 48.7 on September 6 before hitting its two-week peak of 52.0 and closing out the period at 49.7.


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The next release of the ESI will be on Wednesday, September 30, 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.

Economic Sentiment Closes Out The Summer With Massive Uptick

After several months of fluctuations, economic sentiment saw a significant improvement over the past two weeks, climbing back to early March levels when the economy began to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) jumped by 3.4 points to reach 50.0, driven by an even larger increase in confidence in the broader U.S. economy and labor market.


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All five of the ESI’s indicators improved over the past two weeks. Confidence in the broader U.S. economy led the way with a 6.6-point jump to 52.8. Consumer sentiment towards the labor market followed closely behind, with an increase of 4.8 points to 40.4. Confidence in making a major purchase neared its late-March 2020 level, climbing 3.3 points to hit 46.4. With smaller improvements, confidence in personal finances and the housing market rose by 1.6 and 1.1. points, respectively. Unlike the other indicators, however, confidence in personal finances and the labor market have yet to reach their pre-pandemic levels.

The upturn in sentiment comes after a busy month and some shifts in economic indicators. While Americans are seeing an overall decline in new COVID-19 cases nationwide and businesses begin to reopen, many Midwestern states are seeing a large spike in cases. August also brought an incredibly strong stock market, with the S&P 500 scoring its best August since 1986. Despite many Americans’ attention shifting this month toward the future due to presidential conventions and the upcoming election, experts remain worried about the uneven economic recovery occurring in the U.S. due to varied state responses and setbacks with the pandemic.


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The ESI’s three-day moving average remained relatively flat throughout the reading period, beginning the two-week stretch at 49.7, falling to its low of 49.1 on August 28, and closing out the reading at 50.1.


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The next release of the ESI will be on Wednesday, September 16, 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.

Economic Sentiment Loses Momentum Following Unexpected Rebound

Economic sentiment trended downward over the past two weeks, reversing course from last reading’s surprising increase. The HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) fell modestly, dropping 0.5 points to 46.6. Despite increases in confidence in the job market and the overall economy, economic sentiment fell on the whole, led by a significant decline in confidence in making a major purchase.


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Three of the ESI’s five indicators fell over the past two weeks. Confidence in making a major purchase dropped the most, falling by 2.8 points to 43.1 and erasing most of last reading’s gains. Close behind was a 1.1-point decline in confidence towards the housing market, which fell to 54.1. Despite the decline, confidence in the housing market remains the ESI’s highest indicator as housing data continues to beat expectations and homebuilder confidence reaches a record high even while the delinquency rate for residential mortgages has risen. Confidence in personal finances also fell by 0.6 points to 53.8, hovering around its early summer levels. Meanwhile, confidence in the job market and the U.S. economy both rose, increasing by 1.6 and 0.3 points to 35.6 and 46.2, respectively. Despite its rise over the past month, confidence in the U.S. economy remains 10.0 points below its June numbers, while confidence in the job market has largely returned to early summer levels.

The downturn in sentiment follows the July jobs report which showed the economy added 1.8 million jobs, as well as the first time weekly jobless claims fell below 1 million since March. While the topline numbers were positive in the July jobs report, some experts are concerned the data signals a slowdown in economic momentum and recovery. Despite these concerns, markets continue to tick upwards, with the S&P 500 hitting a new record high yesterday. There still remains a high level of uncertainty surrounding a new COVID-19 relief package, with no clear legislative path forward at the moment. The President did, however, sign a number of executive orders aiming to boost unemployment payments, provide a payroll tax holiday, defer student loan payments, and extend protections from evictions.  


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The ESI’s three-day moving average began the two-week stretch at 48.0 on August 5, before falling to its low of 43.2 on August 11. The reading then sharply increased, peaking at 49.8 on August 15 before closing the reading at 47.9.


Click here to view image.

The next release of the ESI will be on Wednesday, September 2, 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.