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Expand chart
Data; Morning Consult; Chart: Axios Visuals

Consumer sentiment has increased consistently since the passage and signing of the latest coronavirus relief bill, new surveys show.

Driving the news: Morning Consult's Index of Consumer Sentiment rose 1.51 points from the prior week to 87.74.

Watch this space: "The second coronavirus relief package, which President Donald Trump signed into law on Dec. 27, had a more immediate positive impact on consumer confidence than the CARES Act in March 2020, even though the $600 stimulus checks are roughly half the size of what was included in the first aid bill," Morning Consult economist John Leer noted in an email.

  • "One reason for the more immediate impact is that the Treasury Department deposited and sent stimulus checks much faster this time because the agency already had the relevant eligibility and delivery information, meaning consumers can see the money in their bank accounts sooner."

Another confidence reading, the Economic Sentiment Index from data provider CivicScience and Hamilton Place Strategies continued its upward trend, rising to 48.3, the third straight positive reading.

Details: Confidence in the job market rose the most of all the survey's individual indicators, increasing by 2.7 points to 41.1, and has risen 6.3 points over the past four readings.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Jan 19, 2021 - Economy & Business

Economic growth is slowly returning

Data: New York Fed; Chart: Axios Visuals

The New York Fed's index of real-time data indicators shows the reversal of the economy's progress in late December and early January, but it moved upwards again last week.

Driving the news: Central bankers said the index's rise for the week of Jan. 9 was due to increases in tax withholding, fuel sales and rail traffic, which countered disappointing numbers for initial unemployment insurance claims and a decrease in electricity output.

New wave of strikes will test worker power

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Thousands of John Deere workers hit the picket line this week after the union smacked down a new worker contract from the farm and equipment maker.

Why it matters: There’s a wave of worker angst spreading across the country. They wield new power that’s come with a historic worker shortage.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Technology

The smart city comes of age

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Better sensors, more intelligent AI, and the coming wave of 5G wireless could finally fulfill the promise of the smart city.

Why it matters: How we organize, run and power our cities will be increasingly important in the years ahead, as urbanization expands and the damaging effects of climate change compound.