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 87.37 as of July 1. 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
- Over the past two weeks, trends in consumer confidence in a given state closely correspond to the number of new per capita COVID-19 cases in that state. From June 16 to July 1, consumer confidence plateaued or even moderately decreased in states with increasing new per capita COVID-19 cases. Conversely, consumers in states with stable or decreasing daily per capita COVID-19 cases grew more optimistic about the economy and their personal finances.
- Unlike during the initial fall in confidence in mid-March when consumers across the country responded relatively similarly, more recent developments reflect regional dynamics, as discussed in detail in the June 15 analysis.
- While the relationship between daily per capita COVID-19 cases and consumer confidence is present across most states, it is not a universal rule. Consumers across the country may view differently the economic costs associated with increases in COVID-19 cases, or they may more directly experience the benefits of reopening segments of the economy. For example, many Americans who lost their jobs as a result of the virus remain unemployed. While a second wave of the virus may decrease the likelihood of these Americans returning to work, they already suffered the acute financial harm inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic.
- From June 16 through July 1, consumer confidence in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina and Texas remained flat or even decreased. All of these states reported increases in daily per capita COVID-19 cases since June 16. All of these states exhibit a fairly clear peak or plateau in confidence on or around June 20, with Arizona and Nevada trending downwards since then.
- One notable exception to this list of states is Mississippi, which experienced a sharp increase in the number of new per capita cases during the last week of June. Despite the increase in COVID-19 cases, consumers in Mississippi grew more confident throughout the end of the month. However, if the trend in COVID-19 cases in Mississippi continues, one would expect consumers in Mississippi to grow less confident.
- Consumers in states with stable or decreasing daily per capita COVID-19 cases generally grew more optimistic about the economy and their personal finances from June 16 to July 1. For example, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York all exhibit clear positive trends in consumer confidence over the past two weeks as the number of daily per capita cases stabilized or decreased in those states.
- Consumer confidence fell in New Hampshire and Maine towards the end of the month, but consumers in both states remain more confident at the beginning of July than they were in the middle of June. The same is not true of consumers in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina and Texas.
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.