Consumer confidence dropped 1.4 points to 52.9, its lowest level in 2018 so far, according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI). This is the ESI’s second consecutive reading with a decline, following the previous reading’s drop of 1.3 points, from 55.6 to 54.3 on Tuesday, February 20.
Plunging confidence in the broader U.S. economy fueled the index’s overall decline, as that indicator dropped by 3.4 points to 49.6.
In total, four of the ESI’s five indicators dropped during the reading. In addition to the steep plunge in economic sentiment toward the broader U.S. economy, economic sentiment toward the labor market fell by 2.1 points to 47.1, its lowest reading during 2018. Confidence in personal finances dropped 1.3 points, falling to 65.7, while confidence in making a major purchase slipped by 0.4 points to 52.8.
Consumer confidence in the housing market was the only indicator to rise, increasing 0.2 points to 49.2.
The ESI’s three-day rolling average ended the reading on a low note at 51.5, 1.4 points below the topline number. Following President Trump’s announcement of a steel and aluminum tariff on Thursday, March 1, the moving average briefly rose 1.0 point to 53.2 on Friday, March 2, before dropping to 51.5 on Tuesday, March 6, its lowest point over the past two weeks. The overall drop comes after the moving average peaked at 55.1 on Sunday, February 25.
The next release of the ESI will be March 20, 2018.
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.