Category Archives: Information and Insights

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.