The Microsoft News-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (“ESI”), powered by HPS, 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. 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 continued to fall over the past two weeks, according to the Microsoft News-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI), powered by Hamilton Place Strategies. The ESI fell 1.4 points, following the last reading’s decline of 2.8 points. The month-long decline has brought the ESI to 49.7, its lowest level since January of this year.
All five of ESI’s indicators decreased over the past two weeks. Consumer confidence in the labor market experienced the largest decline, falling 3.2 points to 40.9, its lowest level since November 2016. Sentiment toward the broader U.S. economy followed closely, dropping 1.7 points to 41.7. Sentiment toward the housing market and making a major purchase both dropped by 1.1 and 0.6 points to 51.2 and 52.1, respectively. Confidence in personal finances experienced the smallest decline, falling by 0.3 points to 62.5.
The continued decline in consumer confidence comes amid an escalating trade war with China, stock market volatility, and the release of economic indicators that many believe to be a sign of a slowing economy.
The three-day rolling average fluctuated rapidly at the outset of the last two-week period, beginning at 50.7 before reaching its peak of 51.8 on August 24. The reading then slowly declined before ending the reading period at 48.9.
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