Consumer Confidence In Making A Major Purchase Plummets As Summer Draws To A Close

Despite a more than 4.0 point decline in consumer confidence in making a major purchase, overall confidence among consumers fell just 1.0 point to 50.9 during the past two weeks, according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI).

The 4.2 point decline in economic sentiment toward making a major purchase dropped the indicator to 49.1, its lowest level since April 2017. This drop in sentiment, coupled with rising consumer confidence in the housing market—the only indicator to rise during the reading—means consumers are less confident in making a major purchase than they are in the housing market for the first time since May 2017. Economic sentiment toward the housing market improved 1.0 point to 49.5 during the reading.

Consumer confidence fell across the other three ESI indicators, with confidence in personal finances declining the most with a 0.7 point drop, bringing the indicator to 65.6. Even with this decline, consumers continue to feel most confident in their personal finances. Confidence in the broader US economy and the labor market also fell, with each decreasing 0.5 points to 46.5 and 43.9, respectively.

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Overall, consumer confidence declined by 1.0 point during the past two weeks, dropping the ESI to 51.0 as Congress returns to Washington, D.C., to a busy fall schedule. This decrease did push the index slightly below its 2017 average of 51.4.

Throughout the summer, consumer confidence remained fairly constant as the overall indicator never fell below 50.5 and never rose above 52.0 for the readings between Memorial Day and Labor Day. During this time, the ESI maintained an average of 51.4, mirroring 2017’s overall average.

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The ESI’s three-day moving average moved 1.6 points during the two-week reading period. After starting the reading at 51.1, the moving average peaked at 52.3 on Tuesday, August 29. Following this peak, the moving average steadily decreased during the second half of the reading, falling to its trough of 49.2 on Tuesday, September 5, the final day of the reading.

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The next release of the ESI will be September 19, 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.