HPS Analysis

ESI: Economic Sentiment Falls To Near 12-Month Low Copy

Economic sentiment dropped over the past two weeks, matching one of the lowest readings in the past 12 months. The HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) decreased 0.8 points to 40.5 to mark the first half of February.

Four of the ESI’s five indicators dropped over the past two weeks. The greatest decrease was in confidence in making a major purchase, which fell 0.9 points to 26.4. This was accompanied by drops in confidence in both finding a new job and buying a new home, which fell 1.4 points to 54.1 and 1.1 points to 27.1, respectively. Confidence in personal finances and the overall U.S. economy remained largely stable, with the former going up 0.1 points to 55.8 and the latter falling 0.1 points to 39.0. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced on February 10 that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation metric increased 7.5 percent year-over-year, a 40-year high. Early February was also marked by market volatility, concerns over Russia-Ukraine relations, and Federal Reserve officials signaling they may consider interest rate hikes in March. Conversely, the BLS also announced nonfarm payroll increases of 467,000 in January, exceeding the 150,000 estimate.

The ESI’s three-day moving average began this two-week stretch at 41.3 on February 2. It decreased steadily until February 9, at which point it rose 2.0 points to 41.6. The moving average then resumed its steady decline to end the period, closing out at 39.7 on February 15.

About the Index

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. For a more detailed overview of the Index and the underlying methodology, please request a white paper.

About CivicScience

CivicScience, Inc. provides the leading intelligent polling and real-time consumer insights platform, the InsightStore™. Its proprietary platform powers the world’s opinions and quickly gets that data to the decision makers who care. Every day, CivicScience polls ask millions of people questions related to thousands of topics, while its powerful data science and big data technology analyzes current consumer opinions, discovers trends as they start, and accurately predicts future behaviors and market outcomes. CivicScience polls run on hundreds of premier websites, in addition to its own public polling site at www.civicscience.com. CivicScience’s InsightStore™ is used by leading enterprises in marketing research, advertising, media, financial services, and political polling. For more information, visit CivicScience by clicking here and follow them on Twitter – @CivicScience.

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