Consumer Confidence Rebounds After Six Weeks Of Decline

After declining for six straight weeks, consumer confidence rebounded over the last two weeks, according to the latest HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) reading. While labor market data has been weak over the past two months, the ESI two-week average increased due to improved views towards making a major purchase, including a new home, and outlooks on personal finances. Looking across income groups, this recent boost was driven by gains in confidence among those making less than $35,000 a year.

The increase in the ESI in the past two weeks was not enough to make up for the three prior declines in the two-week average. The ESI is still 4.1 points off the 2013 high. However, the index is back above its average reading over the past 12 months.

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The three-day rolling average was highly volatile over the two-week period, ranging from 43.5 to 46.7. The three-day average finished the two-week period at 46.3.

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Across income groups, economic confidence among adults making less than $35,000 a year and those making more than $100,000 a year are more closely aligned than in any other time in the past year. This recent trend is largely driven by gains in confidence by those making under $35,000, which has pushed the ESI for those groups back to levels not seen since the first half of 2013.

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Improved confidence in making a major purchase, buying a new home, and personal financial situation boosted the ESI. Meanwhile, labor market confidence continues to be a drag on the ESI, as it fell 2.4 points to a reading of 32 over the past two weeks.

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Below are all five questions included in the index:

  • Over the next six months, do you expect your personal financial situation to get better, stay the same, or get worse?
  • Given the current state of your local market, is now a good or bad time to purchase a new home?
  • Given the current state of the economy, is now a good time or a bad time to make a major purchase like a new car or home improvements?
  • Looking ahead six months, do you think the U.S. economy will get better, stay the same, or get worse?
  • Over the next six months, do you think it will become easier or more difficult to find a new job?

The next release of the ESI will be Tuesday, March 10th.

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.