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 fell significantly the past two weeks, according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI), decreasing by 0.9 points. The ESI has risen over the past two months but decreased over the past two weeks to 52.9, its largest decline since January.
Three out of the ESI’s five indicators decreased during the reading. Consumer confidence in making a major purchase experienced the largest decline, falling 2.3 points to reach 53.8. This decrease was trailed by a 2.2 point decrease in economic sentiment toward the broader economy which fell to 48.0, ending its 2019 climb. Consumer confidence in the broader housing market also fell to a two month low of 49.5 points. Meanwhile, confidence in personal finances rose to 65.0, a 1.1 point increase. Labor market confidence also rose 0.6 points to 48.1, its highest reading since November.
The significant decrease to the ESI comes amid mixed economic signals for consumers. The unemployment rate remains at a record low, but increased tariffs on China have sparked fears of slowing the US economy and increasing prices for consumers.