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 remained steady over the past two weeks, according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI). The index moved down a mere 0.2 points, falling from a reading of 52.9 on July 24 to 52.7 on August 7th.
Escalating trade tensions, inflationary economic pressures, and rising geopolitical tensions have led to growing uncertainty about the broader U.S. economy. Yet despite the heightened economic insecurity, the ESI is 0.6 points above last year’s level, indicating relatively stable consumer confidence over the past year.
The slight decline in the ESI was driven by a 1.7 decrease in economic sentiment towards the labor market. After spiking during Amazon Prime Day, confidence in making a major purchase also fell to 53.2. Economic sentiment towards the broader economy and housing market increased slightly, rising by 0.6 and 0.7 points respectively. Consumer confidence in personal finances remained flat, rising only 0.2 points.
Four out of five of the ESI’s indicators have increased since August 2017. Confidence in the U.S. housing market is the only indicator to have declined, falling 2.1 points, while all other indicators have experienced increases ranging from 0.6 to 3.2 points.
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