ECON: Consumer Sentiment Weaker Than Expected
- Headline Sentiment 71.8 vs 78.0 Consensus
- Current Conditions 87.5 vs 87.5 Consensus
- Expectations Index 61.7 vs 68.0
- 12 Month Index 70 vs 87 Consensus
(Reuters) - U.S. consumer sentiment tumbled to its lowest since December 2011 in early March, hit by dissatisfaction with government economic policies and as fewer Americans expected to see improvements in growth or the labor market, a survey released on Friday showed.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment dropped to 71.8 from 77.6 in February, short of expectations for 78.
Across-the-board government spending cuts of $85 billion went into effect at the beginning of the month after U.S. lawmakers failed to come to a new deal.
A record 34 percent of respondents made unfavorable references to government economic policies, beating January's prior record of 31 percent.
"The frustrations expressed by consumers essentially involve how little consideration has been given to how the government’s inability to reach a compromise affects people’s economic situation," survey director Richard Curtin said in a statement.