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.
Consumer confidence in making a major purchase recovered from its previous 1.0 point decline to jump 2.5 points to 50.5. This increase, coupled with a 2.3 point decline in confidence in the housing market that dropped the indicator to 45.8, means consumers once again are second-most confident in making a major purchase.
Economic sentiment toward the broader U.S. economy also improved, rising 2.2 points to 47.8, the indicator’s highest level since August 8, 2017. The increase in sentiment toward the U.S. economy propelled the indicator above consumer confidence in the housing market for the first time since March of this year.
In addition to falling confidence in the housing market, economic sentiment toward personal finances and the labor market also declined. A 1.6 point decrease in sentiment toward personal finances dropped the indicator to 65.3, its lowest level since August 8, 2017. Confidence in the labor market fell the least, dropping 1.3 points to 44.0.
The ESI’s three-day moving average fell 1.5 points from start to finish during the two-week reading period. After beginning the reading at 51.5 on Wednesday, September 20, the moving average peaked at 52.0 on Saturday, September 23. Following this peak, the moving average fell to its trough of 49.9 on Sunday, October 1, before increasing slightly to end the reading at 50.0 on Tuesday, October 3.
The next release of the ESI will be October 17, 2017.
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.
About Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS)
Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS) is an analytical public affairs consulting firm with offices in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. 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.
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.