MORNING CONSULT ECONOMIC INTELLIGENCE

Following Riots at Capitol and Georgia Elections, Consumer Confidence Dives Among Republicans, Rises for Democrats

Updated: January 12, 2021
This chart displays the ICS, a measurement of consumer sentiment. Higher numbers indicate greater confidence.

 

Welcome to Morning Consult’s U.S. consumer confidence dashboard, powered by Economic Intelligence. Every week, this page will update with the latest national data and insights from our economic team. Additionally, state-level data and findings will be updated once a month.

Morning Consult surveys around 6,000 U.S. consumers every day 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), which rises as consumer confidence increases. In addition to the ICS, our overall measurement for consumer confidence, Morning Consult uses the responses to track consumer sentiment regarding just the current economic conditions (the ICC) and just expectations for future conditions (the ICE).

This is just a small sliver of the economic data we track around the globe every day. Learn more about Economic Intelligence.

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This week's results are based on around 40,000 survey interviews conducted January 6-January 12, 2021

WEEK AT A GLANCE

Morning Consult economist John Leer pulled out three key insights from the data this week:

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Consumer confidence fell last week following the Georgia Senate runoff elections and the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol. Morning Consult’s Index of Consumer Sentiment dropped to 87.1 on Tuesday, down 0.64 points from the prior week. Democrats and Republicans reached drastically different interpretations of the economic consequences of last week’s events. The ICS among Republicans fell 5.62 points to 81.34 from last Wednesday to Friday, when Republicans lost both Georgia Senate races and President Donald Trump publicly acknowledged for the first time his intent to leave the White House at the end of his term. During this same period, the ICS among Democrats rose 3.89 points to 93.77. This post has an accompanying chart. View the data.
  • The timing of and conceptual linkages between last week’s events make it effectively impossible to isolate the impact on consumer confidence of the election results from that of the attack on the Capitol. Were it not for the violence in Washington, Trump may not have publicly stated his intent to depart from the White House, potentially leaving the share of Republicans who believe the election would be overturned unchanged. But following last week’s events, just 13 percent of Republicans believe the election results would be overturned, down from 27 percent in mid-December. In this sense, the attack on the Capitol likely accelerated the decrease in consumer confidence among Republicans.
  • Consumers’ response to last week’s events increases the likelihood that the impact of the second coronavirus relief bill will not be felt until late January. The positive momentum in consumer confidence from the initial disbursement of stimulus checks has abated. Additional fiscal stimulus in the form of federal unemployment insurance will provide consumers a boost once states begin distributing those funds later this month.

 

 

NATIONAL TRENDS

This week, both consumers’ evaluation of current conditions and expectations for the future ticked up.

Daily U.S. Consumer Confidence Indices

Reading this data: In order to gauge consumer sentiment, Morning Consult asks five questions relating to personal finances and business conditions in the country as a whole. The results from those five questions are then inputted into these three indices: The ICS is the overall measurement based on the results of all five questions; the ICC reflects consumers’ views of their current personal financial conditions and of current buying conditions for large household goods, and the ICE measures consumers’ expectations of their future personal financial conditions and business conditions in the country as a whole.

 

 

STATE-LEVEL TRACKING

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 vary in important ways. This map tracks state-by-state consumer sentiment since the beginning of the year, and it will be updated once a month to reflect the latest data.

Monthly Consumer Confidence Tracking By State
Updated: January 5, 2021

Jan

STATE LEVEL TAKEAWAYS

  • Consumer confidence moderately decreased in December across most of the United States. Morning Consult’s Index of Consumer Sentiment fell in 38 of 50 states last month, marking an improvement over November when the ICS declined in 46 states. 
  • The impact of the coronavirus on consumer confidence varies greatly by state. For example, North Dakota and South Dakota experienced similar per capita increases in new COVID-19 cases in November followed by comparable declines in December. However, the ICS in North Dakota decreased by 8.78 percent in December, while it rose in South Dakota by 10.78 percent. This example highlights the challenges of developing a generalized model of the impact of the pandemic on consumers. 
  • From one state to the next, consumers across the United States responded in December differently than they had at any other point in 2020. The standard deviation of the monthly percentage change in the ICS across 50 states was 4.33 percent in December, marking the fourth consecutive monthly increase. From June through August, consumers across the country reacted increasingly similarly as the economy improved (i.e., the standard deviation decreased). However, starting in September, the economic outlook became more uncertain, leading consumers in some states to grow less confident while others became more confident. This increased level of geographic dispersion is likely to subside as stimulus checks and unemployment benefits provide Americans additional assurances that their finances can weather the storm for at least the next few months.

"THIS IS THE FUTURE"

Moody’s Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi, on Morning Consult Economic Intelligence’s Global Consumer Confidence tracking

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