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:
Following an almost equal drop during the last reading in January, the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) increased 1.9 points to a reading of 50.0, reflecting growth across all components of the ESI during the past two weeks.
The ESI’s surge at the start of February coincides with the announcement of a strong January jobs report. Despite the monthlong government shutdown and concern over a slowing economy, the U.S. economy added 304,000 jobs, higher than expected by initial forecasts. The employment figures were announced soon after the Federal Reserve’s decision to delay raising interest rates for the time being.
Confidence expanded across all five components of the ESI. Economic sentiment towards making a major purchase increased by 2.6 points to 47.1, while confidence in the broader U.S. economy and personal finances jumped by 2.5 points to 44.9 and 66.3 points respectively. Consumer confidence in the labor market also rose, moving up from 43.8 points to 45.3 points. Finally, consumer sentiment toward the housing market increased slightly by 0.5 points to reach 46.6 points.