Consumer sentiment in the U.S. improved by much more than anticipated in the month of March, according to preliminary data released by the University of Michigan on Friday.
The University of Michigan said its consumer sentiment index jumped to 83.0 in March after dipping to 76.8 in February. Economists had expected the index to inch up to 78.5.
With the much bigger than expected increase, the consumer sentiment index reached its highest level since hitting 89.1 in March of 2020.
“Consumer sentiment rose in early March to its highest level in a year due to the growing number of vaccinations as well as the widely anticipated passage of Biden’s relief measures,” said Surveys of Consumers chief economist Richard Curtin.
He added, “The gains were widespread across all socioeconomic subgroups and all regions, although the largest monthly gains were concentrated among households in the bottom third of the income distribution as well as those aged 55 or older.”
The report showed the current economic conditions index surged up to 91.5 in March from 86.2 in February, while the index of consumer expectations spiked to 77.5 from 70.7.
With regard to inflation, one-year inflation expectations fell to 3.1 percent in March from 3.3 percent in February. Five-year inflation expectations were unchanged at 2.7 percent.
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