Category Archives: Information and Insights

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.


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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.

Economic Sentiment Defies Expectation, Sees First Rebound Since Early June

Economic sentiment rebounded over the past two weeks, as the U.S. reported the smallest daily rise in COVID-19 infections in weeks, and hopes for a potential vaccine increased. The HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) posted a positive gain for the first time since early June, jumping 3.1 points to 47.1. All five of the ESI’s indicators increased, with confidence in personal finances leading the uptick.


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All five of the ESI’s indicators rose over the past two weeks. Confidence in personal finances rose the most, gaining 4.0 points to close at 54.4. Close behind were gains in confidence in the U.S. economy and confidence in making a major purchase, which rose 3.7 and 3.6 points, respectively, and both closed out the two-week period at 45.9. Posting more modest gains were confidence in finding a new job (up 2.5 points to 34.0) and confidence in the housing market (up 1.8 points to 55.2).

The uptick in sentiment comes amid mixed economic news. Cases of COVID-19 are rising at their slowest rate in weeks, while several potential vaccines entered new trial phases. Yet the $600-per-week unemployment benefit, implemented as part of the CARES Act in late March, expired July 31 after Congressional Republicans and Democrats were unable to come to an agreement on another round of fiscal stimulus. Initial unemployment claims rose for a second straight week at the end of July, moving up from 12,000 to 1.43 million. Additionally, forecasts predicting a sharp rise in economic activity in Q3 are largely dependent on rates of infection not rising.


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The ESI’s three-day moving average began the two-week stretch at 45.3 on July 22, before rising to its peak of 49.5 on July 24. It then declined before reaching its two-week low of 44.1 on July 29. The moving average rebounded on August 1 before falling again and closing out the two-week stretch at 46.8.  


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The next release of the ESI will be on Wednesday, August 19, 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 Steepens Decline, Returning To April Levels

Economic sentiment continues to drop as U.S. COVID-19 cases keep rising and states reimpose restrictions. The HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) declined for the third consecutive reading, dropping 2.2 points to 44.0. The index now stands at its lowest level since mid-April, when the country faced the initial spike in U.S. COVID-19 infections and accompanying lockdowns. 


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Four of the ESI’s five indicators declined over the past two weeks. Confidence in the broader U.S. economy fell 6.0 points to 42.2, its lowest reading during 2020, and has now dropped a total of 14.0 points since early June. Also falling were confidence in making a major purchase (down 2.5 points to 42.3), confidence in personal finances (down 1.9 points to 50.4), and confidence in the job market (down 1.3 points to 31.5). Confidence in the job market is currently at its second-lowest reading in ESI history, following its all-time low in May 2020. The sole indicator to rise was confidence in the housing market, which posted a slight bump of 0.5 points and closed out the two-week period at 53.4.

The continued decline in confidence comes on the heels of an uncertain economic recovery. Retail sales jumped 7.5% in June after states lifted COVID-19-related restrictions, but plateaued late in the month as cases increased and some states reimposed restrictive measures. Texas, for example, ordered bars closed at the end of last month, while California added new restrictions to indoor dining. The rise in infections across the country has been coupled with a slowing of economic activity across the board. Average rates on long-term mortgages, meanwhile, have fallen to record lows. Freddie Mac reported that the average rate on a 30-year mortgage fell below 3.0% for the first time last week, to 2.98%.  


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The ESI’s three-day moving average began its volatile two-week stretch at its peak of 46.5 on July 8 before dropping, recovering, and then hitting its two-week low of 42.6 on July 15. The moving average rebounded slightly on July 18 before falling again and closing out the two-week stretch at 44.1 on July 21.


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The next release of the ESI will be on Wednesday, August 5, 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 To Tumble As The Virus Spreads And States Reimpose Restrictions

The HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) continued last reading’s decline, dropping 1.6 points to 46.2. The four week-long decline follows on the heels of a massive increase of confidence at the beginning of June as the economy began to fully reopen. Since then, there have been large spikes in new cases in states across the country, and confidence in the U.S. economy has plummeted 8.0 points from its June peak, its largest decline during the pandemic.


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Four of the five ESI indicators declined over the past two weeks. Confidence in the broader U.S. economy tanked by 5.5 points down to 48.2 as some states and localities impose new restrictions on economic activity. Confidence in personal finances also had a significant drop off, falling 1.8 points to 52.3, its lowest level since May. Confidence toward the job market and the housing market also experienced slight declines, falling 0.8 and 0.2 points, respectively. Consumers’ confidence in making a major purchase was the sole indicator to rise, increasing 0.1 points to 44.8. 

The recent surge in cases is impacting the economy as states and localities weigh halting economic reopenings. The surge also seems to be impacting consumer behavior as new cellphone data reveals that fewer consumers are patronizing businesses in states that are seeing a rising COVID case load. Many experts are now reconsidering the country’s growth trajectory for the rest of the year, with Goldman Sachs reducing its third-quarter GDP outlook by eight percentage points due to concerns of the increasing virus cases. The uncertainty around economic reopening has put a shadow on last week’s positive jobs report in which the economy added 4.8 million jobs and the unemployment rate fell to 11.1%, marking the second-consecutive month of growth.


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The ESI’s three-day moving average began the two-week stretch at its peak of 49.0 on June 24 before dropping to its low of 43.6 on July 2. The moving average then had a rocky rebound, closing out the reading on July 7 at 47.5.


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The next release of the ESI will be on Wednesday, July 22, 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 Falters Following Months-Long Rebound

Following the largest ever reading-to-reading increase in its seven-year history, the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) lost momentum, dropping 1.3 points to 47.8. While the last reading was driven by record-setting surges in confidence toward the job market and the economy, this reading’s drop was driven by significant losses from those very same indicators.


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Three of the ESI indicators declined over the past two weeks. Confidence in the broader U.S. economy plummeted by 2.5 points down to 53.7, while confidence in the job market decreased by 2.4 points to 33.6. Confidence toward making a major purchase also experienced losses, declining by 1.5 points to 44.7. Consumers’ confidence in the housing market experienced no change, remaining at 53.1, its highest level since March. The only indicator to improve was confidence in personal finances, which rose 0.2 points to 54.1. 

The decline in consumer confidence occurs as many states begin to reopen and the economy shows mixed signs of recovery. Among the states that have reopened and hoped to improve economic activity, some have seen COVID-19 cases begin to increase once more. Though unemployment has declined and layoffs have slowed, concerns about the resurgence of coronavirus have left many unsure about how well the job market can sustain its gains. While consumer spending is slowly recovering, new data shows that the largest cutback in spending came from the highest-earning quarter of Americans, whose spending accounts for about half of the decline in consumption during this recession and continues to recover at the slowest rate as compared to other quartiles. Between stimulus benefits and lowered consumption, the U.S. savings rate has skyrocketed, but tens of millions of unemployed workers face a fast-approaching “income cliff” as additional federal unemployment benefits disappear at the end of July.


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The ESI’s three-day moving average began the two-week stretch at its peak of 51.6 on June 10 before dropping to its low of 43.2 on June 16. The moving average then slowly bounced back, closing out the reading on June 23 at 49.0.


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The next release of the ESI will be on Wednesday, July 8, 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.

Americans’ Economic Sentiment Surges At A Record Pace, Reaching Its Highest Level Since March

Economic sentiment rocketed up over the past two weeks, ending its month-and-a-half long plateau. The HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) increased 4.5 points to 49.1, setting a new record for largest ever reading-to-reading increase in the ESI’s history and reaching its highest level since March 17. The reading was driven by record-setting surges in confidence toward the job market and the economy following a surprisingly positive jobs report last week and emerging signs of an economic recovery.


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All five of the ESI indicators increased over the past two weeks as consumer confidence across economic indicators returned to levels not seen since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Confidence in the job market rose dramatically from its all-time low of 28.8, rising 7.2 points to 36.0. This rebound marks the largest reading-to-reading increase for the indicator in the ESI’s history and comes amidst a surprising May job’s report in which the U.S. economy added 2.5 million jobs, dramatically beating expectations. Confidence in the U.S. economy experienced a similar record-setting surge, rebounding by 7.1 points to 56.2. Consumers also showed increased confidence in their willingness to spend, as confidence toward making a major purchase and the housing market increased by 4.4 and 3.4 points, respectively. These rebounds come amid a 20% increase in mortgage applications compared to last year. Confidence in personal finances also rose, increasing by 0.5 points reaching 53.9, its highest level since March. 

The rapid rebound in consumer confidence comes amid a ray of positive economic news. Outside of May’s job report there are some other signs of economic recovery as home mortgage applications, hotel reservations, restaurant bookings, air travel, and driving have all substantially increased. The sustained rise in economic metrics has given some optimists hope that the worst of the COVID-induced recession is over, and a quick economic recovery is to follow. This optimism has helped carry the Nasdaq to a record high, and helped the S&P 500 erase all its losses for 2020. Despite positive signs of recovery, the National Bureau of Economic Research has officially noted that the U.S. economy is in a recession and new research shows that more businesses have shut their doors for good in the last three months than during all of the Great Recession. Future readings will provide a better sense for the impact these developments have on consumer confidence.


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The ESI’s three-day moving average began the two-week stretch on May 27 at 47.3 before dropping to its low of 45.5 on June 4. The reading then had a sustained rebound, closing out the reading on June 9 at its peak of 52.5.


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

Americans’ Economic Sentiment Unchanged Despite Record-Low Confidence In U.S. Job Market

Economic sentiment continued to plateau over the past two weeks as gains in confidence in personal finances and making a major purchase balanced out record-low sentiment towards the job market and a major decline in confidence towards the overall economy. The HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) fell 0.2 points to 44.6, marking the third consecutive reading within this 0.2 point range and indicating a steady position of low consumer confidence. The reading was particularly weighed down by a continued drop in confidence in the job market, which surpassed last reading’s record-low to a new historic low of 28.8.


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May’s individual indicators have been marked by a substantial divergence between confidence towards the job market and the overall U.S. economy and the remaining indicators. Though overall confidence has remained steady, May has seen dramatic declines in job market and broad economic confidence, which have now fallen 5.8 and 7.1 points, respectively, from their April highs. Confidence in the job market broke last reading’s record-low, falling 3.0 points over the past two weeks to a new historic low of 28.8, while confidence in the U.S. economy fell 4.3 points to 49.1. Simultaneously, confidence in making a major purchase, personal finances, and the housing market all recorded sustained rebounds. Confidence in making a major purchase and personal finances rose the most over the past two weeks, increasing by 2.5 and 2.2 points, respectively. Confidence in the housing market also increased by 1.6 points to 49.7.

Changes in sentiment come amid continuously high jobless claims as 2.4 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, bringing total filings during the pandemic to 38.6 million people. The sobering numbers highlight that businesses are still laying off workers while states are increasingly moving to reopen their economies. There has also been a large economic impact on small businesses. Over 100,000 small businesses have permanently closed, including three percent of all restaurants, and many of those left standing are still concerned about reopening. There are, however, signs of economic life as air travel, hotel bookings, and mortgage applications all seem to be rebounding.


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The ESI’s three-day moving average began the two-week stretch on May 13 at 42.5 before dropping to its low of 42.1 on May 18. The reading then fluctuated heavily, but moved upward, ending the reading on May 26 at its peak of 47.2.


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The next release of the ESI will be on Wednesday, June 10, 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 Plateaus As Confidence In The Job Market Falls To All-Time Low

Consumer sentiment leveled out over the past two weeks following April’s uptick of confidence. The HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) only rose 0.1 points to 44.8 during a two-week period where states and the federal government began making plans to reopen the economy. The plateau in confidence was driven by drops in three categories, including confidence in the job market, which reached a historic low days after the country’s unemployment rate jumped to 14.7%.


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Though overall confidence remained steady, there was substantial movement among the ESI’s individual indicators over the past two weeks. Confidence in the housing market increased for a second-straight reading, rising 3.4 points to 48.1. Also continuing to recover was confidence in making a major purchase, which increased 0.7 points to 39.3. Weighing the ESI  down were dips in three other indicators; confidence in the overall economy led the decline, falling 2.8 points to 53.4, reversing a previous eight-week rebound. Also dropping were confidence in personal finances and confidence in the job market, which fell by 0.7 and 0.4 points, respectively, to 51.2 and 31.8. Confidence in the job market is now at the lowest level since the inception of the ESI.

Changes in sentiment come as April’s jobs data saw another jump in the US unemployment rate, which now stands at 14.7%, but may in fact be much higher. Countering these numbers was some positive economic news. The S&P 500 rose 3.5% last week, and the number of new requests for government-backed forbearance has slowed. More states began to ease lockdown measures over the past two weeks, and Americans report they see less of a risk in engaging in social activities. 


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The ESI’s three-day moving average began the two-week stretch on April 29 at 46.3, rising on May 1 to its two-week high of 47.3. A sharp decline on May 2 was followed by a gradual decline to the two-week low of 42.7 on May 9, the day after the release of April’s jobs report. Confidence rebounded on May 10 and closed out the two-week stretch on May 12 at 44.2.


Click here to view image.

The next release of the ESI will be on Wednesday, May 27, 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.