Economic Sentiment Continues Rally, Posts Modest Increase

Economic sentiment posted a modest increase over the past two weeks, following a significant spike in late August. The HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) inched upwards by 0.5 points to 50.5, driven largely by a boost in confidence in making a major purchase.

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The ESI’s five indicators posted somewhat differing results over the past two weeks. The biggest gain was in confidence in making a major purchase, which rose 2.2 points to 48.6. Also rising were confidence in the overall US economy (up 1.3 points to 54.1) and confidence in finding a new job (up 0.5 points to 40.9). Weighing the index down were slight declines in the ESI’s two other indicators: confidence in the housing market decreased by 1.2 points to 54.0, while confidence in personal finances declined 0.7 points to 54.7.

The slight uptick in sentiment comes on the heels of mixed economic news. August’s strong jobs data, released on September 4, showed the addition of 1.4 million jobs and a decline in the US unemployment rate to 8.4% from 10.2% in July. Overall US COVID-19 infection rates continue to drop from their summer peak. Stocks, however, were erratic over the two-week period. After the best August since 1986, stocks posted declines in the first weeks of September; the Nasdaq, for example, fell 4.1 percent between September 4 and September 11, its worst week since March. The housing market, meanwhile, faces pressures from record-high lumber prices, which are adding $16,000 on average to the price of a new home, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

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The ESI’s three-day moving average began the two-week stretch at 51.9, falling to its low of 48.7 on September 6 before hitting its two-week peak of 52.0 and closing out the period at 49.7.

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The next release of the ESI will be on Wednesday, September 30, 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.