Consumer Confidence Stabilizes Below 2014 Highs At The End Of April

Consumer confidence stabilized over the past two weeks, inching up ever so slightly to 46.5, almost a point below its April high one month ago, according to the latest data from the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI). Of note, confidence in the labor market rose over the past two weeks, potentially reflecting April’s strong jobs report. At the same time, while increasing during the past two weeks, confidence in the housing market remains below confidence in personal finances.

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While the ESI’s two-week rolling average remained stable, the three-day rolling average experienced significant volatility. After rising towards the end of April, it plummeted 3.5 points over three days and remained subdued until this past weekend when it began to rise again.

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Looking at all five components of the ESI, confidence in the labor market rose, potentially reflecting the strengthened job market in April.

Confidence in personal finances and in the national economy dipped slightly, while confidence in making a major purchase continued to fall. This time by 1.2 points. This component of the index is now three full points below where it registered four weeks ago.

Conversely, while confidence in the housing market rose over the past two weeks, it has mostly remained flat for the previous two quarters. It is the only component of the index to fall in rank over the past year. Many economists discussed the possibility that the housing market has held the national economy back from full recovery as residential investment has been a significant drag on GDP growth in the past two quarters.

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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, May 20th.

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.