Consumer Sentiment Decreases in March

Consumer Sentiment was 59.7 in March, according to the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index. March’s figure was 3.1 points lower than the February reading and is 25.2 points below the March 2021 index. The Current Economic Conditions Index fell 0.4 points from the previous month to 67.8 and is 25.2 points below the March 2021 index. The Consumer Expectations Index decreased 5.0 points to 54.4, and is 25.3 points lower from a year ago.

“Consumer Sentiment continued to decline due to falling inflation-adjusted incomes, recently accelerated by rising fuel prices as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The year-ahead expected inflation rate rose to its highest level since 1981, and expected gas prices posted their largest monthly upward surge in decades. Personal finances were expected to worsen in the year ahead by the largest proportion since the surveys started in the mid-1940s. Consumers held very negative prospects for the economy, with the sole exception of the job market. Consumers were slightly more likely to anticipate declines rather than increases in the national unemployment rate. This underlying strength in jobs comes at the cost of pushing inflation even higher due to unrelenting pressures on aggregate demand and supply lines.” said Richard Curtin, chief economist of UM Surveys of Consumers.

Read the University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers release.