Author Archives: Bryce Campanelli

Economic Sentiment Falls Slightly Following Turbulent Two Weeks

Overall economic sentiment is down slightly in the second 2021 reading of the HPS-Civic Science Economic Sentiment Index (ESI). Following a two-week stretch in which the storming of the U.S. Capitol and delayed vaccine rollouts dominated the headlines, the ESI dropped 0.6 points to 47.7.

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Four of the ESI’s five indicators declined over the past two weeks. Falling the most was confidence in personal finances, which dropped 1.5 points to 55.8. Close behind were readings of confidence in finding a new job (down 1.4 points to 39.7) and confidence in making a major purchase (down 1.3 points to 42.0). Bucking the downward trend of the other indicators was confidence in the housing market, which jumped up 2.2 points to 51.2.

The beginning of this two-week stretch was marked by both the U.S. Capitol being breached by rioters seeking to overturn the result of the 2020 election, and news that two Democrats–Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock–were the winners in Georgia’s Senate elections, tipping the makeup of the new Senate in the Democrats’ favor. At the same time, the number of applications for jobless benefits reached a level not seen since March in the week that ended Jan 9. The period also saw the continued acceleration of deaths due to COVID-19, while efforts to roll out the coronavirus vaccine were bogged down by confusion and delays across the country. Some form of forward-looking clarity, however, may have been achieved when President Joe Biden unveiled his plan to vaccinate 100 million Americans in his first 100 days in office.

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Although the ESI fell over the course of the last two weeks, the three-day moving average notched a substantial upswing in the closing days of the period. The moving average began on January 6 at 47.2, before dropping to its low of 46.4 on January 12. The average then gradually increased, peaking at 49.9 on January 18, and closed out at 49.2 on January 19.

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The next release of the ESI will be February 2, 2021.

After Autumn Tumble, Economic Sentiment Makes Slight Recovery

Overall economic sentiment recovered slightly after six consecutive weeks of decline. During the past two-week stretch marked by optimism about a COVID-19 vaccine, the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) inched upwards 1.3 points to 45.7.

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There was contradicting movement among the ESI’s five indicators over the past two weeks. Making the biggest gain was confidence in making a major purchase, which rose 4.5 points to 44.9 — the second largest increase over the past year. Also rising were confidence in the overall U.S. economy (up 1.6 points to 46.9) and confidence in finding a new job (up 1.2 points to 36.0). Weighing these improvements down were decreases in the ESI’s other two indicators: confidence in personal finances dropped 0.9 points to 52.8, while confidence in the housing market declined 0.4 points to 47.6.

COVID-19 vaccine news continued to dominate the headlines over the past two weeks, as the U.S. prepares to administer the vaccine in the coming days and the U.K. began injections of the Pfizer vaccine. The good vaccine news comes as the U.S. passed 15 million positive cases of COVID-19, with hospitals in some regions struggling to cope with overcapacity. Meanwhile, stocks hit new highs last Friday even as November jobs data was less positive than expected and the prospect and size of a renewed stimulus bill remains uncertain.

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The ESI’s three-day moving average began the two-week period at 46.0 on November 25, gradually declining to it’s two-week low of 43.6 on December 1. The moving average then moved upwards, peaking at 47.3 on December 6, before closing out the two-week stretch at 45.2 on December 8.

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The next release of the ESI will be December 23, 2020.

Timber! Consumer Confidence Plummets Across All Indicators

Consumer confidence fell quickly over the past two weeks, according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI). Despite last reading’s surge, the ESI fell from its peak by 1.2 points to 53.3. The steep decline was the result of sagging confidence across the board, but driven by a significant drop in confidence towards the labor market.

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All five of the ESI’s indicators fell over the past two weeks. Consumer confidence in the labor market fell the most, decreasing by 2.8 points to 44.2. Sentiment toward making a major purchase and the U.S. economy both decreased by 1.1 points to 48.2 and 56.3, respectively. Reductions in confidence in the housing market and personal finances rounded out the sour reading as they fell by 0.8 and 0.1 points.

The decline follows January’s boost of confidence and comes amid a wave of destabilizing news, including the senate impeachment trial and fear over the spread of the novel coronavirus. This news has driven down markets, led to swings in oil prices , and kept American’s on the edge of their seat.

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The three-day rolling average started at its peak of 54.9. It then experienced a steady decline, reaching its low of 52.0 on January 30 and again on Feb. 3 before closing the reading on an upswing, ending at 53.5.

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