HPS Analysis

ESI: Economic Sentiment Recovers Slightly, Finally Breaking Its Free Fall

Economic sentiment rose slightly over the past two weeks, after dropping to record-lows for each of three consecutive prior readings. The HPS-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) increased 0.9 points to 36.7.

All but one of the ESI’s five indicators increased this week. Confidence in personal finances and confidence in making a major purchase experienced the greatest gains, rising 2.4 points to 53.1, and 1.5 points to 22.4, respectively.

– Confidence in finding a new job rose 0.9 points to 50.7.

– Confidence in the U.S. economy rose 0.2 points to 34.9.

The only indicator to decrease was confidence in the housing market, which fell 0.6 points to a new record low of 22.4. 

Yesterday, the U.S. Labor Department reported a March Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase of 8.5%, exceeding Dow Jones estimates of a 8.4% jump. The agency also reported initial jobless claims fell to 166,000, their lowest level since 1968. At present, there are over 5 million more employment openings than available workers in the country.

Rising interest rates are permeating the housing market, which is currently digesting the unusual combination of rising home prices and rising mortgage rates; last week, the 30-year fixed-rate home loan increased to 4.72%, the highest figure since December of 2018. According to mortgage-financier Freddie Mac, the rate rose 1.5 percentage points over the past 90 days, the quickest three-month increase since 1994.

The ESI’s three-day moving average began this two-week stretch at 37.0 on March 30. It hit its two-week high of 38.8 on April 4, its low of 33.5 on April 9, and closed the session at 37.8 on April 12.

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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