Consumer Confidence Dips Driven By Housing Market Woes

Consumer confidence fell slightly to 46.2 points in the past two weeks, bringing it close to levels seen in the beginning of 2014, according to the latest data from the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI). While the ESI has stabilized above January and February levels, consumer confidence remains three full points below its level this time a year ago. Looking across all five components of the index, confidence in the housing market continues to under perform relative to other components and is currently 13 percent below its reading from this time last year.

Click to view image.

While the two-week average dipped, the three-day rolling average generally improved during the last two weeks. Overall, the three-day rolling average improved from 44.1 to 46.9 and peaked at 47.6 yesterday.

Click to view image.

Confidence in purchasing a new home fell more than two full points in the past two weeks and has shown a longer-run trend of under performing compared to other components of the index. Among all five components, only the current reading for housing market confidence is below its 12-month average. Relative to this time last year, confidence in the housing market is down 13 percent, compared to nine percent for personal finances and just three and four percent for the labor market and U.S. economy respectively. While still higher than three other components of the ESI, housing market confidence simply has not performed as well as other components.

Looking across the other four components of the ESI, confidence in the national economy and in making a major purchase rose. Confidence in personal finances remained stable and confidence in the job market fell.

Click to view image.

Below are all five questions included in the index:

  • Over the next six months, do you expect your personal financial situation to get better, stay the same, or get worse?
  • Given the current state of your local market, is now a good or bad time to purchase a new home?
  • Given the current state of the economy, is now a good time or a bad time to make a major purchase like a new car or home improvements?
  • Looking ahead six months, do you think the U.S. economy will get better, stay the same, or get worse?
  • Over the next six months, do you think it will become easier or more difficult to find a new job?

The next release of the ESI will be Tuesday, June 3rd.

About the Index

The HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (“ESI”) 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.

About Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS)

Hamilton Place Strategies is a policy, advocacy, and communications consulting firm with a focus and expertise at the intersection of government, business, and media.

About CivicScience

CivicScience, Inc. provides the leading intelligent polling and real-time 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.