Confidence: Becoming Harder to Find in This Economy?
Despite the recent uptick in optimism, consumer sentiment is failing to return to pre-crisis levels. According to Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s preliminary reading, consumer sentiment fell to 79.9 in March compared to a final reading of 81.6 in February.
The results were worse than expected as consumers feel worse about their futures. On average, economists expected the index to reach 82 this month. In 2013, consumer sentiment ranged from a low of 73.2 in October to a high of 85.1 in July. The preliminary reading was the worst level for consumer sentiment since November, when it reached 75.1 amid the government shutdown drama.
On the positive, Americans are not allowing the frigid winter and war drums affect their moods significantly. “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 statement.