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Consumer Sentiment Jumps in March as Outlook Improves for Lower-Income Households

Retailers have reason to be optimistic about the months ahead: U.S. consumer sentiment has been higher than expected in March, which could give shoppers reason to spend.
The University of Michigan’s monthly Survey of Consumers found that consumer confidence rose to 98.4, from last month’s 93.8, recovering from its January slump. While the 35-day partial government shutdown and stock market volatility at the beginning of the year shook the public’s assurance in the economy, this latest data shows that attitudes have since improved.
The figure, released Friday, is higher than the 97.8 that economists had forecasted and sits slightly above the average of 97.2 recorded in the past 26 months.
The gains were skewed, however, to households in the bottom two-thirds of the income spectrum, while the index fell by 1.1 points among higher-income households. The impact of the tight labor market was felt by consumers at every level, though, with the share of households reporting income gains reaching its highest level since 1966.
“Rising incomes were accompanied by lower expected year-ahead inflation rates, resulting in more favorable real income expectations,” said Richard Curtin, the Survey of Consumers chief economist. “Moreover, all income groups voiced more favorable growth prospects for the overall economy.”
The researchers

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Via:: https://footwearnews.com/2019/business/retail/consumer-sentiment-march-2019-us-economy-spending-1202765960/