Consumer confidence declined over the past two weeks for the first time in 2018, according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI). The index fell a total of 1.3 points, from 55.6 to 54.3, since the previous reading on February 6. This drop marks the first time the ESI has declined since the December 12 reading toward the end of 2017 and matches the index’s 2018 low point, which was set during the first reading of the year on January 9.
The drop in the overall index was fueled by declines in consumer sentiment toward four out of the ESI’s five indicators. Confidence in the broader U.S. economy fell 2.4 points, down from 55.4 to 53.0, marking the largest decline in any indicator during the reading. Additionally, confidence in personal finances also fell by 1.9 points to 67.0, the lowest reading since November 2017. Consumer confidence in the U.S. housing market dropped to 1.7 points, falling to 49.0 points. Sentiment toward making a major purchase also declined, ending the reading 0.9 points down at 53.0. Consumer confidence in the labor market was the only indicator to increase, jumping 0.5 points to 49.4.
The declines in the indicators come amidst volatility in U.S. markets, including one day — Friday, February 9 — that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average swing more than 1,000 points. During the week of trading concluding on February 9, U.S. markets saw as much as $3 trillion in value wiped out, according to The Washington Post.
The ESI’s three-day rolling average ended the reading on a high note at 55.8, slightly lower than its peak of 56.1, which was achieved on Monday, February 19. The strong finish comes after the moving average reached its low-point of 52.9 on Friday, February 16.
The next release of the ESI will be March 6, 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.