Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- Consumer Sentiment
The University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment slipped 1.2 points in March to 72.5 according to the preliminary report. This was the second consecutive small decline, but the index remains more than 15 points above its year-ago level and just 1.9 points below January’s recent high of 74.4. Both components of the index contributed to its decline, with current conditions dropping 1.0 point and consumer expectations declining 1.2. While sentiment has shown considerable improvement from the recession lows recorded more than a year ago, it has moved horizontally during the past six months with only small monthly variations. According to the release, consumers continued to report improvement in the overall economy in early March, but nonetheless expected tough times to persist for the remainder of the year. Consumers were less positive about prospects for declines in unemployment, and the majority expect some setbacks rather than uninterrupted economic growth over the next five years. Inflation expectations were little changed from February. One-year-ahead average inflation expectations ticked down 0.1 percentage point to 3.5 percent in March, while the longer-run (5- to 10-year-ahead) expectations pulled back 0.2 percentage point to 3.1 percent.