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Data: Hamilton Place Strategies, CivicScience; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans' feelings about the economy are turning up, according to the latest confidence survey from Hamilton Place Strategies and CivicScience, provided first to Axios.

What happened: After two months of decreasing, economic sentiment climbed 2.2 points to 49.6, as COVID-19 cases, business restrictions and deaths continued to decline, while restaurant openings and vaccination numbers moved higher.

Details: All five of the Economic Sentiment Index's indicators rose last week, with a surge of 5.6 points in confidence in the U.S. economy, which rose to 55.4, its largest spike since September 2020.

  • Confidence in the job market also hit its highest level since September, increasing 1.9 points to 43.1.
  • The consumer indicators of confidence in personal finances and making a major purchase rose 1.9 and 1.8 points, respectively. Confidence in the housing market increased slightly, moving up 0.1 point to 49.4.

One level deeper: "Easing of restrictions is being reflected in a fading of weakness in the OpenTable restaurant series," TD Bank strategists said in a note to clients.

  • It is now down 39% year over year, a notable improvement from -52% a month ago.
  • The Opportunity Insights credit card transactions data series shows net strengthening this year, even with some weakening since early January, and mobility data from Google are also signaling some strengthening, TD notes.

State of play: "All in all, the recovery appears to be regaining momentum, albeit with a long way to go; payrolls are currently down 9.9 million from their pre-COVID level."

Of note: Improving consumer confidence numbers along with better-than-expected retail sales figures pushed the New York Fed's index of real-time economic indicators slightly higher this week.

  • The Atlanta Fed's GDPNow forecasting tool is indicating U.S. growth could see a 10% gain for the first three months of the year.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Mar 2, 2021 - Economy & Business

U.S. manufacturers are hopeful for recovery, but worried about rising prices

Data: Caixin, IHS Markit; Chart: Axios Visuals

Purchasing managers' indexes for the manufacturing sector are moving in opposite directions in the U.S. and China.

Why it matters: China's economy was the first in the world to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic and its manufacturing sector surged.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Mar 2, 2021 - Economy & Business

Investors increase their exuberance

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

U.S. stocks jumped across the board on Monday and the S&P 500 had its best day since June 5, as the bulls stepped in and bought the dips in stock prices following last week's minor selloff.

Why it matters: While some have worried rising U.S. interest rates would dampen investor exuberance over the expected pickup in economic growth thanks to increasing vaccine numbers and big fiscal spending hopes, Monday showed investors still like risk assets. A lot.

Biden says presidency "will be determined" by outcome of spending plans

President Biden walks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after addressing the House Democratic caucus on Thursday. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden told the House Democratic caucus Thursday "my presidency will be determined" by the votes he wants in the next week on his $1.75 trillion social safety net expansion and $1.2 trillion infrastructure package.

Driving the news: Biden made the comment, according to a source in the room, as he tried to rally support for the $1.75 trillion package. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi acted immediately, calling for a vote on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill later in the day.