Consumer confidence in the economy has declined for the first time in over two months, according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI). Economic sentiment among consumers dropped 0.6 points during the ESI’s two-week reading period, falling from 52.4 to 51.8. Prior to today’s report, the ESI had increased each reading since October 18, steadily climbing 5.7 points by the December 13 reading to 52.4, the index’s highest point during 2016. While today’s result means the ESI finishes 2016 on a decline and slightly off its peak for the year, the reading of 51.8 pushes the index’s 2016 average up to 47.5.
The ESI’s decline during the reading was due to falling consumer confidence in the labor market, the broader U.S. economy, and making a major purchase. Economic sentiment regarding the labor market dropped the most, falling 3.0 points to 43.1. Sentiment toward the broader U.S. economy experienced the second largest decline, falling from 54.2 to 51.8, while confidence in making a major purchase dropped just 0.2 points to 49.7. Confidence in personal finances and the housing market each improved during the reading, rising 2.5 and 0.2 points to 63.7 and 50.9, respectively. The relative positioning of the ESI’s five indicators remained unchanged, as consumers remained most confident their personal finances, followed by the broader U.S. economy, the housing market, and making a major purchase, in order. Consumers continued to display the weakest level of confidence toward the labor market.
The ESI’s three-day rolling average began the reading on the decline, falling each day from 53.0 on Wednesday, December 14, to 49.8 on Tuesday, December 20. The moving average then reversed course and improved each day through Christmas day, rising from its aforementioned trough of 49.8 to its peak of 54.1 on Sunday, December 25. After the holiday, the rolling average dropped off again, settling at 52.0.
The next release of the ESI will be January 10, 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 is a policy, advocacy, and communications consulting firm with a focus and expertise at the intersection of government, business, and media.
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.