Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, consumer confidence has shifted dramatically in all 50 states. However, the precise magnitude and nature of those shifts varies in important ways, and those nuances carry vast implications for policymakers, businesses, and other leaders as they seek to understand the unfolding crisis and respond effectively. This report, based on Morning Consult Economic Intelligence data, tracks state-by-state consumer sentiment since the beginning of the year, and will be updated twice a month to reflect the latest data.
How we measure consumer confidence: Each day, Morning Consult surveys over 6,000 U.S. consumers on their views regarding current and future personal financial conditions and business conditions in the country as a whole. The results from those survey interviews are inputted into the Morning Consult Index of Consumer Sentiment (ICS), with higher numbers indicating higher consumer confidence. For context, the ICS at a national level was 89.2 as of June 15. A full methodology is available at the bottom of the page.
Heat Map: How Consumer Confidence Has Shifted
Use the slider to track how consumer confidence has shifted.
Takeaways From The Latest Data
An analysis of Morning Consult’s consumer confidence data across all 50 states, with a focus on developments since the beginning of June, shows that while most states experienced a rebound in confidence early June, the size of the increase differs across the country. The differences across states and regions closely correspond to differences in the average daily number of cases of COVID-19.
Consumers living in states and regions reporting an increase in the average number of daily confirmed COVID-19 cases did not experience the same increase in confidence as those living in states or regions with stable or falling new cases. While other factors such as state-level differences in employment conditions are also likely to drive differences in consumer confidence, the Index of Consumer Sentiment (ICS) data finds a close relationship between the daily number of cases of COVID-19 and consumer confidence at the state level.
Key findings include:
Consumer confidence increased across the country over the past two weeks, supporting a geographically broad recovery in consumer spending. That being said, some states have fared better than others over the past two weeks.
Since June 1, consumer confidence has increased by 2.2 points on average. In six states (Montana, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Kansas, Connecticut and Iowa), confidence increased by over 5 points during that time period.
Consumer confidence has decreased in only six states: Hawaii, Washington, Alaska, Nebraska, South Carolina and Oklahoma. Even though the average decrease among these six states was only 0.4 points, they are trending downward while the rest of the country enjoys a rebound in confidence.
From the perspective of businesses and policymakers, this state-level data indicates that the rebound in consumer spending in June is likely to be stronger in the Northeast than it is in the South, the region that has the most states with increasing COVID-19 cases.
This data complicates the challenges facing state policymakers. As they work to strike the right balance between easing restrictions on certain economic activities and mitigating future outbreaks of the virus, they also have to consider the second-order effects of fewer restrictions on consumer confidence.
A more detailed, regional analysis is available here.
View past findings from this report here.
Morning Consult Economic Intelligence: Global Consumer Confidence interviews more than 11,000 adults per day across twelve countries. In the United States, more than 6,000 daily interviews are conducted. The daily state-level data uses a 30-day rolling average and the data is weighted to age, gender, education, and race/ethnicity, along with marital status, population density, home ownership, a race by education interaction, and a gender by education interaction.
Survey respondents answer the following five questions:
1) Personal Finances – Current Conditions: We are interested in how people are getting along financially these days. Would you say that you (and your family living there) are better off or worse off financially than you were a year ago?
2) Personal Finances – 12-Month Expectations: Now looking ahead — do you think that a year from now you (and your family living there) will be better off financially, or worse off, or just about the same as now?
3) Business Conditions – 12-Month Expectations: Now turning to business conditions in the country as a whole — do you think that during the next twelve months we’ll have good times financially, or bad times, or what?
4) Business Conditions – 5-Year Expectations: Looking ahead, which would you say is more likely — that in the country as a whole we’ll have continuous good times during the next 5 years or so, or that we will have periods of widespread unemployment or depression, or what?
5) Current Buying Conditions: Thinking about the big things people buy for their homes — such as furniture, a refrigerator, stove, television, and things like that. Generally speaking, do you think now is a good or bad time for people to buy major household items?
The Index of Consumer Sentiment (ICS) is a simple average of the net scores of the five individual questions. For a given question, the net score equals the percentage of weighted positive values minus the percentage of weighted negative values plus 100.