Economic Sentiment Continues Downward Trend Despite Highest Job Market Confidence Since 2018

Overall economic sentiment fell a full point to 49.3 over the past two weeks, according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI). Confidence in the job market soared to its highest level since 2018, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a drop in confidence in the housing market, personal finances, and the overall U.S. economy.  

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Despite the strong confidence in the job market (rising 3.2 points to 50.7), likely buoyed by the impressive March jobs report, three of the remaining four ESI indicators fell over the past two weeks:

– Confidence in the housing market tied for the sharpest drop in sentiment, declining 3.1 points to 43.9, its lowest value in a year.

– Consumer confidence in personal finances also fell 3.1 points, hitting a four-month low of 55.2.

– Overall sentiment towards the U.S. economy fell 2.7 points to 51.1.

– Yet, consumers’ confidence in making a major purchase reached a six-month high, inching up 0.4 points to 45.5.

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The moving average began on March 31 at 50.1. It fluctuated over the two-week period, reaching its second-highest value of 50.8 on April 2, when the March jobs report was released, and its overall high of 51.3 on April 8. The moving average hit its low of 46.5 on April 11 before closing at 46.8 on April 13.

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The next release of the ESI will be Wednesday, April 28, 2021.