While US construction activity is the de facto bellwether for economic health, agency veterans know that pitch activity is just as delicately attuned to consumer economic sentiment as the construction industry.
YouGov HEAT (Household Economic Activity Tracker) has been monitoring consumer economic confidence since late 2010, tracking key economic metrics across multiple demographic segments.
This April the YouGov HEAT Index, which is the aggregate of multiple consumer economic metrics, reached its highest point since tracking began, with a score of 111 dropping back slightly to 110 this May. 200 indicates entirely positive sentiment, 0 entirely negative and 100 is neutral.
On most household economic indicators the signs for 2015 are strong and, if not booming, all are on the uptrend.
Fueled by confidence in home values and job security, households are posting stronger spending power than at any time since 2010. Although still net negative, responders continue to record an increase in cash available for spending compared with previous months, with 10% of responders seeing an improvement in cash compared to 22% who experienced a downswing. The overall score for spending power index lies at 88, which is an all time high.
Optimism about home value amongst homeowners has been consistently growing since mid-2013. Long-term optimism, which charts expected change in value of current dwelling 12 months from now, hit an all time peak of 121 this May. Shorter-term perceptions (comparison with prior month’s perceived value) hit its peak this past January at 110, before dropping back to 108.
Short-term job security figures, reflecting any changes in outlook from the month prior, flipped into positive territory amongst employed Americans for the first time last October. Sentiment has been hovering around neutral since then and is currently weakly positive (101 for employed responders). Business activity over the last month is also positive, with employed Americans perceiving positive change and a score of 107.
The YouGov Household Economic Activity Tracker is a monthly review of the key indicators of consumer confidence, in a survey of more than 6000 American adults each month. HEAT provides statistical results from the month reviewed to indicate consumer confidence in the prior month.
Anne Gammon is associate director at YouGov Omnibus.