As we saw in the most recent ESI reading, consumer economic sentiment has dipped significantly, and further CivicScience research shows this is driven by coronavirus woes and its related effect on the stock market.
By all accounts, all indicators tracked in the ESI strongly correlate between those most concerned with the potential for the coronavirus to become a major epidemic in the U.S. Those concerned about the coronavirus hold the most pessimistic views looking ahead at the economy and markets.
The most telling indicator of the coronavirus effect on economic outlook comes when cross-tabulating the main ESI survey with coronavirus concern. Those “very concerned” with the coronavirus over-index in holding pessimistic views about the future state of the economy, with 58% saying they anticipate it will get worse over the next six months.
Sentiment towards the labor market tells the same tale. Those with the most concern show the most pessimism about the job market, and those least concerned are most likely to believe the ability to find a new job will go unchanged.
A good time to make a big purchase? Not so much.
Americans concerned about the coronavirus don’t think it’s a good time to buy a home, car, or make home improvements.
Lastly, those who are most concerned about the U.S. spread of the coronavirus are also the most likely to say they expect their personal financial situation will get worse over the next six months, and those unfazed are way more likely to think their personal financial situation will get rosier.
As future bi-weekly readings of the ESI are released, CivicScience will report on how coronavirus concern is driving overall economic sentiment among the U.S. population.