Economic sentiment fell sharply over the past two weeks, dropping 4.6 points to 29.6. This is the largest two-week decline in the past year, and the lowest reading since the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) began measuring public sentiment about the U.S. economy in 2013.
All five of the ESI’s indicators fell over the past two weeks. Confidence in personal finances fell the most—by 8.3 points—marking the first time in four months that the survey did not find it to be the highest indicator.
- Confidence in the overall U.S. economy fell 6.3 points to 25.3.
- Confidence in finding a new job fell 3.6 points to 44.5
- Confidence in buying a new home fell 2.9 points to 18.2.
- Confidence in making a major purchase fell 1.8 points to 17.4.
Weeks of speculation around the Fed’s decision to further tighten U.S. monetary policy by raising interest rates were confirmed last week, when Chair Jerome Powell announced an increase of 0.75%—the highest rate hike in nearly three decades.