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Financial News: U.S. Consumer Sentiment Edges Lower In March, Inflation

U.S. Consumer Sentiment Edges Lower In March, Inflation Expectations Unchanged

03/15/2024 - 11:06:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Preliminary data released by the University of Michigan on Friday unexpectedly showed a slight deterioration in U.S. consumer sentiment in the month of March.

The report said the consumer sentiment index edged down to 76.5 in March after falling to 76.9 in February. Economists had expected the index to come in unchanged.

"After strong gains between November 2023 and January 2024, consumer views have stabilized into a holding pattern; consumers perceived few signals that the economy is currently improving or deteriorating," said Surveys of Consumers Director Joanne Hsu.

She added, "Indeed, many are withholding judgment about the trajectory of the economy, particularly in the long term, pending the results of this November's election."

The slight decrease by the headline index partly reflected a modest deterioration in consumer expectations, as the index of consumer expectations slipped to 74.6 in March from 75.2 in February.

Meanwhile, the report said the current economic conditions index came in at 79.4 in March, unchanged from the previous month.

Year-ahead and long-run inflation expectations also remained unchanged from the previous month at 3.0 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively.

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