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Friday, March 29, 2013

March Consumer Sentiment increases to 78.6

by Calculated Risk on 3/29/2013 10:12:00 AM

Consumer Sentiment
Click on graph for larger image.

The final Reuters / University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for March increased to 78.6 from the preliminary reading of 71.8, and up from the February reading of 77.6.

This was well above the consensus forecast of 72.5, but still fairly low. There are a number of factors that impact sentiment including unemployment, gasoline prices and, for 2013, the payroll tax increase and even politics (sequestration, default threats, etc).  

The preliminary decline was probably related to both high gasoline prices and policy concerns. According to Reuters, concerns about policy have abated, and consumers expect "employment will accelerate through the rest of 2013".