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.
Excerpt From the Latest Reading:
Consumer confidence recovered for the second week in a row, according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI). The ESI rose 1.4 points, as it continues to trend upwards in 2019 after dropping almost 5 points in December.
Four out of five of the ESI’s indicators increased during the reading period. The largest increase was consumer confidence in making a major purchase, which rose by 4.8 points to a reading of 51.9. The second largest rise was confidence in the broader economy, which went up by 2.0 points to 46.9. Despite renewed confidence in the broader economy and making a major purchase, economic sentiment toward personal finances fell by 1.4 points to 64.9. Economic sentiment toward the housing and labor markets also rose slightly, increasing by 0.8 and 0.5 points, respectively.
The recovery in the ESI this winter seems to be driven by an easing of the political and economic uncertainty that plagued December. On Friday, February 15, lawmakers reached an agreement on keeping the federal government open, the Federal Reserve has indicated it will slowly raise interest rates, and economic data has generally been strong.
However, Brexit, trade tensions, and possible economic overheating still remain as 2019 progresses.