Consumer Confidence Dips Slightly As The Holiday Season Arrives

Following a consumer-oriented weekend bookended by Black Friday and Cyber Monday, U.S. consumer confidence dipped 0.3 points below its record-tying high of 53.2 from the previous reading, according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI). This is the first decline in economic sentiment since October 3, when the ESI fell 0.1 points from the previous reading. Despite the decline, economic sentiment ties its third-highest level of the year at 52.9.

Overall, consumers have felt more confident during 2017 than 2016 with the ESI’s 2017 average reaching 51.5, four full points above its 2016 average of 47.5.

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Driven by a 1.9 point decline, consumer confidence in the housing market dropped below confidence in the broader U.S. economy for the first time since October 3. During the reading, confidence in the housing market fell to 49.4, while confidence in the broader U.S. economy fell only 0.3 points to 49.9. Economic sentiment toward the labor market was the other ESI indicator to decline, falling 1.2 points to 45.1.

Confidence in personal finances jumped 0.8 points to reach 67.2, the highest reading in the history of the index. Consumers also felt more confident in making a major purchase, with the ESI indicator rising 1.0 points to 52.7.

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The ESI’s three-day moving average ended the two-week reading period 1.8 points below where it began. After starting the reading period at 53.4, the moving average gradually increased to its peak of 54.6 on Tuesday, November 21. Following this peak, the moving average fell to its trough of 51.0 on Monday, November 27, before rising slightly to end the reading at 51.6.

During the Thanksgiving weekend, the moving average remained remarkably consistent, maintaining a level of 53.0 from Friday, November 24 through Sunday, November 26.

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The next release of the ESI will be December 12, 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.

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.

Requests for the ESI Real-Time Beta

In early 2014, the HPS-CS Economic Sentiment Index will be made available in real-time to a select group of beta partners. Beta partners will receive access to a secure website with real-time results and analysis tools, email alerts when numbers shift, and private insights not made available on our public blog. You will also be able to view sentiment data among key sub-populations, such as high-income consumers, frequent retail shoppers, people most likely to buy or lease a new car, or hundreds of other groups.

To request an invitation, sign up here.