Inflation and War Send Consumer Confidence to Decade-Low Slump

March 25, 2022

U.S. consumer confidence worsened slightly in late March, falling to a decade low as inflation and uncertainty around Russia’s invasion of Ukraine weigh on consumers.

The University of Michigan’s sentiment index dropped to 59.4 from 59.7 earlier in the month. Though small, the drop was still unexpected for economists surveyed who anticipated no change.

The survey’s gauge of current conditions fell to 67.2 from 67.8 earlier in the month, and while the gauge of future expectations was little changed, it remains at the lowest level since 2011.

The survey also found that about one-third of consumers expect their financial position to worsen in the coming year, the highest recorded level since the survey began in the 1940s. The number of consumers who mentioned reducing their standards of living due to rising prices was the highest on record aside from the recessions seen in 2008 and the late 1970s.

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