Happy to report that the Connecticut Sentiment Index is back!! It was down for a period of retooling and learning. The graph displays the current measure of the Index; for June, 2017 it stands at 57.7.
I like to compare our index to the Michigan Index. The Michigan Index came in at 94.5 as of today - June 16. It reveals a significant decline over the last couple of weeks. [here] Michigan Index chief economist Richard Curtin suggests the Comey hearing has something to do with the decline. Since it is the change in these indices that convey more information - I will wait till our results come in in July to see how closely we are tracking Michigan’s.
Still, the level of the CT Sentiment Index is significantly down relative to the levels we were holding a year and change ago – when we were in the mid 60’s. Perhaps – Comey and all that – the drop is driven by the glumness surrounding the dire budget situation in Connecticut today. Keith Phaneuf in the June 15th edition of the CT Mirror rues the times with the following headline: “Without a CT budget by July 1, the options are all bad.” [you can read it here] I don’t expect the CT Sentiment Index to head upwards anytime soon.
About the CT Sentiment Index
The Connecticut Sentiment Index is based on a count of positive and negative words appearing in the online pages of 12 regional and local newspapers. We scrape in the evening of the 15th of every month. The sentiment classification is obtained using the Hu & Liu Lexicon of Opinion Words in English. The index is the ratio of positive to the sum of positive and negative words, multiplied by 100.