Consumer Confidence Growth Stalls – Expiration Of Unemployment Insurance To Blame?

Consumer confidence growth stalled in the first two weeks of January, according to data released today by Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS) and CivicScience (CS). The two-week average of the HPS-CS Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) fell to 46.2 from 46.3, the first decline since the end of October.

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When looking across employed and unemployed groups, the decline is largely due to confidence falling sharply among the unemployed. Coming in the wake of expiring unemployment benefits for 1.3 million unemployed people on December 28th, confidence among the unemployed fell from 39.2 to 35.2, the steepest two-week decline in absolute terms since the summer. This drop also follows the weakest jobs report of 2013 with only 74,000 new jobs added in December.

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While the overall two-week average dipped slightly, the three-day rolling average improved over the period, even peaking at a three-month high of 48.8 on January 10th before ending at 46.3.

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Similar to the index overall, confidence in the job market dipped in the first two weeks of January, while the other components of the index remained flat on average.

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The next release of the ESI will be Tuesday, January 28th.

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 is a next-generation polling and data mining company. The company partners with hundreds of premier websites to survey millions of people every week. Proprietary technology then rapidly analyzes consumer opinion, discovers trends in real-time, and accurately predicts market outcomes. CivicScience is used by leading enterprises in an array of industries including marketing research, advertising, digital media, financial services, and political polling.