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: 

Economic sentiment fell for the fourth straight reading over the last two weeks, as the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) dropped 1.6 points to 46.3. A new record high for confidence in the job market was not enough to outweigh steep declines in confidence in making a major purchase and confidence in the housing market, with the latter reaching a new record low.

This reading reflects a continued divergence between confidence in the job market on the one hand and confidence in the housing market on the other. Confidence in the job market rose 2.8 points to 61.5 (the 10th increase over the past 11 readings), while confidence in finding a new home dropped 3.4 points to 29.1 (the seventh straight decline). Consumers find themselves in an economy featuring record-high numbers of open jobs but also historically expensive homes and rising inflation fears. The ESI’s other three indicators also declined:

– Confidence in making a major purchase dropped 4.4 points to 34.9, the lowest point since April 2020.

– Confidence in the overall U.S. economy declined 2.3 points to 49.7.

– Confidence in personal finances dipped 0.5 points to 56.3.

Read the full report here.