Consumer Sentiment Jumps in March

March 15, 2019

While U.S. consumers’ optimism waned in the first months of 2019, they thought things were looking brighter in March. The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment rose to 97.8 for the month. This is up from February’s 93.8, and January’s 91.2—the lowest level since 2016. Economists had expected a reading of 95.3.

Consumers’ confidence was shaken earlier in the year, contending with how a government shutdown, volatile market, and slowing global economy would impact their finances. Those fears look to have subsided, and the month’s increase was driven by particularly strong sentiment among those in the bottom two-thirds of income. Sentiment among the top third of earners actually dropped, falling to 98.5 this month, down from 101.7 in February.

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