In its final reading of 2017, the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) jumped 1.8 points to reach 53.1, its second highest level achieved during the year. The increase in consumer confidence erases almost all of the losses the ESI experienced in each of the two readings since the index reached its peak of 53.2 on November 14. The ESI closes 2017 with a year-long average of 51.59, more than four points higher than its 2016 average of 47.53, indicating a significant and sustained improvement in economic sentiment among consumers.
All five of the ESI’s indicators increased during the reading as consumers demonstrated broad-based optimism toward economic conditions. Confidence in the broader U.S. economy led the improvement in the ESI’s top-line number, as the indicator rose 5.2 points—from 47.7 to 52.9—during the reading. This significant jump means consumers are now equally as confident in the U.S. economy broadly as they are in making a major purchase for the first time since April 4 of this year.
Economic sentiment toward the housing market experienced the second largest improvement, increasing 1.9 points to 49.6. Confidence in making a major purchase rose 1.6 points—from 51.3 to 52.9—while confidence in personal finances increased 0.6 points to 65.5. Consumer confidence in the labor market improved by the smallest margin during the reading, rising 0.1 points to 44.8.
In keeping with the economic sentiment demonstrated at the end of 2016, consumers finish 2017 most confident in their personal finances and least confident in the labor market.
While the overall index did improve, the ESI’s three-day rolling average actually achieved its peak of 54.3 on Wednesday, December 13, the first day of the reading. The moving average reached its trough of 51.1 on Monday, December 18, before climbing back to 54.2 on Sunday, December 24. The rolling average finished the reading trending downward, landing at 52.5 on Tuesday, December 26, 1.8 points lower than where it began.
The next release of the ESI will be January 9, 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.