The preliminary Thomson Reuters/University of
Michigan overall index of consumer sentiment fell to 79.9 in
March, down from the 81.6 final reading in February. That was
below analyst expectations for a reading of 82 and the lowest
level for that index since November.
The index for consumer expectations for future growth dipped to
69.4 in March from 72.7, also hitting its lowest level since
November, the U-Mich survey said.
By contrast, the assessment of current economic conditions
brightened a bit, rising to 96.1 from 95.4 in February, with a
slight improvement in current personal finances.
"Overall, consumers continued to demonstrate their resilience in
the face of a long and harsh winter, and have not recognized any
implications for the domestic economy from the Russian incursion
into Ukraine," survey director Richard Curtin said in a
Consumers' outlook on the future contained some contradictions,
however. Those polled expected the highest rate of annual income
gains since November 2008 while nearly half those polled
expected their living standards to fall in the coming year.
In addition, consumers thought the pace of gains in their home's
value would slow in the coming year, even though the smallest
percentage of homeowners reported losses in the value of their
home since the beginning of 2007.
(Reporting by David Gaffen; editing
by Chizu Nomiyama)
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