With the holiday shopping season gearing up, measuring consumer confidence across key economic indicators should be top of mind. Recent stock market upheavals, issues with China’s economy, the talking points of the various GOP and Democratic presidential candidates, and the recent, very positive jobs/unemployment report are just a few factors pulling economic sentiment in different directions lately.
Every two weeks, CivicScience and our partner Hamilton Place Strategies publish our highly-regarding Economic Sentiment Index (ESI), 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.
In the ESI’s latest report published today, the news is not great:
- Consumer confidence overall is the lowest it’s been since October 2014.
- Confidence in making a major purchase has fallen more than four points in the past four weeks.
- Confidence in the U.S. economy fell by 2.2 points, the third largest drop of the year.
There was, however, a glimmer of good news in the latest data: Confidence in personal finances increased 1.7 points, ending a four-week decline. Confidence in buying a new home also jumped in the past two weeks.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on the ESI, particularly when combined with the holiday shopping season questions that we are currently activating in our InsightStore™ platform.
Next Wednesday, we’ll be holding a webinar featuring some of last season’s “must-know” insights about holiday shoppers to prepare retailers, brands and advertisers for this year. We’ll also give a sneak-peek in to some data about consumers’ plans for this year. One example we’ll be sharing is that while 11% of consumers expect to spend more money on the holidays this year, 37% expect to spend less:
We’ll provide some insights on both groups (greater spenders vs. lower spenders) during the web presentation.
In the meantime, keep an eye on our ESI as the season progresses.