Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
Preliminary numbers show that the University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment decreased 0.7 points to 79.9 in early March. The current economic conditions index rose slightly to 96.1 (from 95.4 in February). The survey noted that consumers expect annual income gains of 1.1 percent, the highest figure recorded since the November 2008 survey. The entire loss in the overall sentiment reading was due to decreases in the index of consumer expectations index, down to 69.4 in March from 72.7 in February. Explanations for the decrease range from weather, recent downturns in GDP growth, and simply a transitory dip. Finally, buying attitudes toward household durables increased from 148 to 149 in March’s preliminary results.
As for inflation expectations in early March, consumers expect a year-ahead inflation rate of 3.2 percent and a longer-term (five- to ten-year) rate of 2.9 percent.