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 increased 0.6 points to 53.8 over the past two weeks, according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI). Elevated levels of confidence in the U.S. labor market drove the index’s overall upward movement. Since the launch of the ESI in 2013, it is the highest measured level of economic sentiment towards the labor market.
This is also the ESI’s highest level since the end of February 2018, when it reached 54.3 points.
Four of the ESI’s five indicators increased during the reading period. Consumer confidence in the U.S. labor market experienced the largest increase, rising 2.4 points to reach a record high of 50.5 points. Consumer sentiment towards the broader U.S. economy rose by 0.8 points to also reach 50.5 points, and sentiment towards personal finances rose by 0.3 points to 65.8 points. Additionally, consumer confidence toward the housing market increased slightly, moving up 0.2 points to 48.6 points. Consumer sentiment towards making a major purchase was the only indicator to decrease, dropping from 54.3 points to 53.9 points.
The large increase in consumer confidence in the labor market comes as the Labor Department reported that U.S. unemployment hit a 49-year low in September.