Reflecting the third round of stimulus checks and better than expected progress on Covid vaccinations, the University of Michigan released a report on Friday showing U.S. consumer sentiment improved by even more than previously estimated in the month of March.
The University of Michigan said its consumer sentiment index for March was upwardly revised to 84.9 from the preliminary reading of 83.0. Economists had expected the index to be upwardly revised to 83.6.
The consumer sentiment index is well above the final February reading of 76.8, reaching its highest level since hitting 89.1 in the same month a year ago.
“The data clearly point toward robust increases in consumer spending,” said Surveys of Consumers chief economist Richard Curtin. “The ultimate strength and duration of the spending surge will depend on the rate of draw-downs in savings since consumers anticipate a slower pace of income growth.”
The report showed the current economic conditions index surged up to 93.0 in March from 86.2 in February, while the index of consumer expectations spiked to 79.7 from 70.7.
On the inflation front, one-year inflation expectations fell to 3.1 percent in March from 3.3 percent in February.
Meanwhile, five-year inflation expectations inched up to 2.8 percent in March from 2.7 percent in the previous month.
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