Author Archives: Mike O'Toole

Economic Sentiment Sees Largest Movement Since April, Improves 1.1 Points

Economic sentiment improved 1.1 points, rising from 50.7 to 51.8 during the past two weeks, according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI). This increase marks the largest movement during the two-week reading since April 4, 2017 when the index fell 2.2 points. Recently, the ESI has remained fairly stable, and the 1.1 point movement marks the first reading since August 8, 2017 that the ESI has changed by greater than 0.5 points. Additionally, the increase ends the ESI’s streak of four consecutive declines.

The 1.1 point improvement helped push the ESI above its 2017 average of 51.3 for the first time since August 22, 2017. Improving economic sentiment toward three of the five ESI indicators drove the overall index’s largest increase since March 21, 2017.

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Consumer Confidence Continues Slide, Drops For Fourth Consecutive Reading

Consumer confidence in the economy declined for the fourth straight reading, falling 0.1 point to 50.7 over the past two weeks, according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI). While the declines during the last four readings have been comparatively small, this is the longest streak of consecutive declines the ESI has experienced since March 2015. But even with this recent trend, the ESI has maintained a 2017 average of 51.3, nearly 4.0 points higher than its 2016 average of 47.5.

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Consumer Confidence Continues Trend Of Minor Movements, Declines Just 0.1 Points

Consumer confidence declined 0.1 points to 50.8 during the past two weeks, according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI). This slight decline continues the ESI’s summer trend of minor movements as the index never moved more than 1.0 point between readings from May to September.

The index began the summer with a reading of 50.8 on May 30 and maintained an average of 51.2 through the current reading. Including this week’s reading, the ESI’s summer average was slightly below the ESI’s 2017 average of 51.4. Over the course of the summer, consumer confidence fell to a low of 50.4 on June 27 and peaked at 52.1 on August 8.

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Consumer Confidence In Making A Major Purchase Plummets As Summer Draws To A Close

Despite a more than 4.0 point decline in consumer confidence in making a major purchase, overall confidence among consumers fell just 1.0 point to 50.9 during the past two weeks, according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI).

The 4.2 point decline in economic sentiment toward making a major purchase dropped the indicator to 49.1, its lowest level since April 2017. This drop in sentiment, coupled with rising consumer confidence in the housing market—the only indicator to rise during the reading—means consumers are less confident in making a major purchase than they are in the housing market for the first time since May 2017. Economic sentiment toward the housing market improved 1.0 point to 49.5 during the reading.

Consumer confidence fell across the other three ESI indicators, with confidence in personal finances declining the most with a 0.7 point drop, bringing the indicator to 65.6. Even with this decline, consumers continue to feel most confident in their personal finances. Confidence in the broader US economy and the labor market also fell, with each decreasing 0.5 points to 46.5 and 43.9, respectively.

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Consumer Confidence Remains Largely Unchanged Despite Tumultuous News Cycle

Consumer confidence decreased slightly over the past two weeks, according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI). The index fell 0.1 points from 52.0 to 51.9. The decline comes amidst the violence in Charlottesville, VA, on Saturday, August 12. In the aftermath of the clashes and President Trump’s multiple statements in response, the second week of the reading featured the disbanding of two of the president’s CEO advisory councils, as well as the departure of chief strategist Stephen Bannon. Despite the political turbulence, economic sentiment among consumers remained largely unchanged since the last reading on August 8.

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Consumers Feeling More Confident As Congress Adjourns For Recess

Consumer confidence improved 0.4 points to 52.0 during the past two weeks to reach its highest point since March 2017, according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI). Of note, consumer confidence in making a major purchase hit a 12-month high after a 1.6 point increase. Consumer confidence has slowly improved throughout the summer, increasing 1.4 points over the course of four consecutive readings of increases. With these improvements, the ESI is now 0.6 points above its 2017 average of 51.4.

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Economic Sentiment Improves Slightly As Consumers Feel Increasingly Confident In The Labor Market

Consumer confidence increased slightly by 0.4 points to 51.6 during the past two weeks, according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI). The rise in confidence continues the ESI’s recent trend of modest improvement, as the index has improved 1.1 points since the June 27 reading. Consumers continue to feel more confident in 2017 than in 2016, with the 2017 ESI average of 51.3 hovering nearly 4.0 points above its 2016 average. The increase in consumer confidence was largely driven by improved confidence in the U.S. labor market and in personal finances, as these indicators rose 1.6 points and 1.5 points to 44.3 and 66.1, respectively.

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