Economic Sentiment Improves For The Second Reading In A Row

Economic sentiment jumped significantly over the past two weeks, marking the second-straight rise in economic sentiment. The HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) rose 3.7 points to 34.1, the first time all five indicators have increased in one session this year.

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All five of the ESI’s indicators rose over the past two weeks. Confidence in the overall U.S. economy rose the most, increasing 5.5 points to 33.6, the largest single jump of the past twelve months.

—Confidence in personal finances rose 5.1 points to 51.5.

—Confidence in finding a new job rose 3.0 points to 45.3.

—Confidence in buying a new home rose 2.6 points to 21.2.

—Confidence in making a major purchase rose 2.5 points to 19.0

While confidence in the overall U.S. economy rose the most, confidence in personal finances and finding a new job remained the highest indicators, continuing a trend of consumers feeling more positive about their own personal situations compared to the economy as a whole. 

The job market was strong in June, as employers added 372,000 jobs and the unemployment rate stayed at 3.6 percent, a near 50-year low. However, even with the additional jobs, employers had 11.3 million jobs open in May; nearly two jobs for every person looking for work.
Despite inflation continuing to rise—reaching 9.1% above a year ago in June—there are signs it may have peaked. Core prices, which exclude food and energy items, were up 5.9% from a year earlier, down from this March’s decade high of 6.5%.

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The ESI’s three-day moving average began this two-week stretch at 31.9 on Wednesday, July 6. It hit a low of 31.5 on Thursday, July 7 before trending upwards to 35.8 on Tuesday, July 12. The moving average trended slightly downwards for a few days before recovering to close out the session at 36.1, a two week high.

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The next release of the ESI will be Wednesday, August 3, 2022.