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Mar 29, 2019

Bulletin | Consumer sentiment improves for second straight month

Greg Robb



Author photo
By
Senior economics reporter
Bloomberg
Shoppers carry bags on Market Street in San Francisco earlier this year.
The numbers: The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index improved to a reading of 98.4 in March from 93.8 in the prior month.
That was better than the mid-March reading of 97.8.
What happened: Current conditions and expectations indexes both improved in the month. Sentiment was aided by more favorable real income expectations. Expectations of inflation were lower. Consumers still expect the Federal Reserve to raise its benchmark interest rate this year.
The big picture: After slumping in January, due to the partial government shutdown, sentiment has rebounded.
“Overall, the data do not indicate an emerging recession but point toward slightly lower unit sales of vehicles and homes during the year ahead,” said Richard Curtin, the chief economist of the survey.
The index is slightly above the average of 97.2 recorded over the past 26 months.
The release of the summary of the Mueller report had no impact on the data, but said it could affect the April sentiment, Curtin said.
Market reaction: U.S. stocks SPX, +0.47%  moved higher after the data was released. The S&P 500 index was up 13 points to 2,829.

Source: MarketWatch

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