HPS Analysis

ESI: Economic Sentiment Hits Record Low For Third Consecutive Reading

Economic sentiment declined to a record low for the third consecutive reading, amidst persistent inflation concerns and the continuation of Russia’s war against Ukraine. The HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) dropped 0.5 points to 35.8.

AThree of the ESI’s five indicators reached new all-time lows this week:

– Confidence in personal finances fell 1.6 points to an all time low of 50.7.

– Confidence in purchasing a new home fell 1.6 points to an all time low of 23.0.

– Confidence in making a major purchase fell 0.4 points to an all time low of 20.9.

Additionally, confidence in getting a new job fell 1.8 points to 49.8. The only indicator to rise this week was confidence in the overall U.S. economy, which rose 3.1 points to 34.7.

Inflation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continue to drive the news cycle. Americans are more worried about inflation than at any point since 1985, with 17% of respondents in a recent poll calling inflation the “nation’s most important problem.” The consequences of the situation in Ukraine, meanwhile, are becoming apparent across the economy, from spiking fertilizer costs to the cost of fuel. Gas prices in the U.S. remained above $4.20 per gallon for the past three weeks, leading to discussions within the Biden administration and Congress of the potential for direct cash relief in the form of gas rebates. 

The ESI’s three-day moving average began this two-week stretch at 37.1 on March 16. It hit its two-week low of 34.4 on March 20, and closed the session at 36.2 on March 29.

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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