Economic sentiment ticked upward over the past two weeks, despite the Omicron variant emergence and turbulence in the stock market. The HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) gained 0.5 points to reach 41.0, matching its position from four weeks ago.
The ESI’s rise comes on the back of strong gains from two indicators: Confidence in personal finances jumped 2.3 points to 55.4, while confidence in the housing market rose 2.2 points to 29.6. The past two weeks witnessed the first reported case of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 in the U.S., which, in conjunction with a mixed November jobs report, sent U.S. equities into a series of down-and-up jolts. New indicators also showed home prices decelerating their appreciation for the first time in two years. Here is how the ESI’s other indicators moved:
– Confidence in making a major purchase rose 1.6 points to 29.5
– Confidence in finding a new job dropped 1.8 points to 54.3
– Confidence in the overall U.S. economy dropped 1.9 points to 36.2