Economic Sentiment Chugs Upwards For The Third Straight Reading

Economic sentiment continued its steady climb over the past two weeks, increasing for the third straight reading. The HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) jumped up 0.8 points to 51.3, driven largely by a boost in confidence in the job market and the U.S. economy. This reading is the third highest for the U.S. economy indicator in the ESI’s history. The ESI has now risen 4.7 points since August 18.

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Four of the ESI’s five indicators rose this week, with confidence in the job market rising the most with an increase of 2.5 points. The job market indicator now sits at 43.4, tying its level on March 3 and reaching levels that were sustained before the onset of the pandemic. Confidence in the U.S. economy also rose substantially, increasing 1.7 points to 55.8. Confidence in personal finances and the housing markets also rose by 1.4 and 1.1 points, respectively. Confidence in making a major purchase was the sole indicator to decline, dropping 2.6 points to 46.0. This reverses course from its surge during the last reading.

The sustained growth in confidence comes as the U.S. surpassed the grave milestone of 200,000 deaths due to COVID-19 and more than 1 million deaths have been recorded globally. Despite Democrats and Republicans unveiling new curtailed COVID-stimulus packages, the likelihood of Congressional action remains low as the Senate prepares for the Supreme Court nomination process. New data also points to a slowing of the job market as jobless claims remained steady in September at just under 900,000 a week. The job postings on Indeed for the highest-paying jobs on the site are down 24%, with low-wage and middle-wage jobs down 12% and 18%, respectively. The housing market has, however, continued to boom as U.S. existing home sales surged to their highest level in nearly 14 years, setting a new record for average home price.

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The ESI’s three-day moving average began the two-week stretch at 50.6 and peaked on September 18 and 19 at 53.5, before falling to its low of 48.9 on September 21. It then had a sporadic climb to close the two-week stretch at 52.0.

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The next release of the ESI will be on Wednesday, October 14, 2020.

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, and follow us on Twitter – @HPS_CS.

About Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS)

Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS) is an analytical public affairs consulting firm with offices in Washington, D.C. New York, and California. 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 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.