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 quickly over the past two weeks, according to the HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI). Despite last reading’s surge, the ESI fell from its peak by 1.2 points to 53.3. The steep decline was the result of sagging confidence across the board but driven by a significant drop in confidence towards the labor market.

All five of the ESI’s indicators fell over the past two weeks. Consumer confidence in the labor market fell the most, decreasing by 2.8 points to 44.2. Sentiment toward making a major purchase and the U.S. economy both decreased by 1.1 points to 48.2 and 56.3, respectively. Reductions in confidence in the housing market and personal finances rounded out the sour reading as they fell by 0.8 and 0.1 points.

The decline follows January’s boost of confidence and comes amid a wave of destabilizing news, including the senate impeachment trial and fear over the spread of the novel coronavirus. This news has driven down markets, led to swings in oil prices, and kept Americans on the edge of their seat.

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