Economic Sentiment Shows Early Signs Of A Rebound

Consumer economic sentiment rebounded slightly from a historic low over the last two weeks as the stock market showed signs of recovery and as government officials began discussing when and how to reopen the economy. Following the last reading’s record-shattering drop, the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) inched upwards, rising 2.5 points to 42.6. The newest reading now marks the second-lowest reading in the ESI’s history.

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Four of the ESI’s five indicators rose over the past two weeks. Leading the upswing were strong gains in confidence toward personal finances and the overall economy, which rose by 4.6 and 4.1 points, respectively, to 49.6 and 54.7. Confidence in the overall economy is now at its highest level since June 2018. Also posting gains were confidence in making a major purchase and confidence in finding a new job, which inched upwards by 3.0 points and 2.6 points, respectively. The one metric to decline was confidence in the housing market, which sank 1.6 points to a new all-time low of 40.3.

Changes in economic sentiment coincided with mixed economic news. Reports last week indicated that the White House is pushing to open the economy by May 1, in an effort to mitigate the economic damage caused by lockdowns. By the close of trading last Thursday, U.S. stocks posted their biggest weekly gains since 1974, rising 12% in four days. But the fallout of COVID-19 continues to be felt throughout the economy. Almost 17 million Americans have filed for unemployment insurance since mid-March, and more than 2 million American mortgage holders – representing 4% of all U.S. home loans – are now in forbearance, a metric that is rising exponentially.

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The ESI’s three-day moving average began the two-week stretch on April 1 just north of the all-time low, at 40.3, and rose steadily between April 4 and April 9. A tapering off on April 10 and 11 was followed by a jump on April 12 to 44.3, before leveling off at 44.0 to close out the reading.

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The next release of the ESI will be on Wednesday, April 29, 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.