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:
As Americans say goodbye to the difficult year that was 2020 and ring in the New Year, consumers are expressing heightened confidence in 2021’s first reading of the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI). Economic sentiment continued its month-long upward trend, posting an increase (1.4 points to 48.3) for the third straight reading following the enactment of a second COVID-19 relief bill and continued deployment of a COVID vaccine.
Four of the five individual indicators rose during the two-week reading period. The largest increase was in confidence in the job market, which rose 2.7 points to 41.1. Confidence in the labor market has now risen 6.3 points over the past month, despite November’s stagnant jobs report and persistently high weekly unemployment claims. The consumer-centric indicators also received steady bumps, as confidence in making a major purchase and personal finances rose 2.5 and 1.7 points, respectively. Confidence in the overall U.S. economy followed last reading’s substantial increase with a muted, 0.4-point jump, entering 2021 at 50.7. 2020’s hottest indicator, the housing market, was the sole indicator to decline, falling by 0.3 points to 49.0.