POST Online Media Lite Edition



 

Deterioration in U.S. consumer sentiment

Staff writer |
Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan released a report showing an unexpected deterioration in U.S. consumer sentiment in March. The report showed that the preliminary reading on the consumer sentiment index for March came in at 79.9 compared to the final February reading of 81.6.

Article continues below






Economists had expected the index to inch up to a reading of 81.8. The unexpected decrease by the headline index came as the gauge of consumer expectations fell to 69.4 in March from 72.7 in February.

At the same time, the report showed that the barometer of current economic conditions climbed to 96.1 in March from 95.4 in the previous month.

Amna Asaf, an economist at Capital Economics, said most of the drop in consumer sentiment can be attributed to the unseasonably bad weather. "Overall, since weather effects tend to be short-lived, confidence will probably rebound in the coming months. With the labor market gradually improving and income growth prospects bright, any slowdown in consumption growth in the first quarter will probably be temporary too."

On the inflation front, one-year inflation expectations held steady at 3.2 percent in March, while the five-to-ten-year inflation outlook was unchanged at 2.9 percent.


What to read next

U.S. consumer sentiment falls drastically to September 2014
U.S. consumer sentiment keeps rising in early November
Michigan consumer sentiment 90.7, below last month's