Consumer Sentiment Dips Slightly in March

While economic signs remain strong and experts have a positive outlook, consumer sentiment saw a slight dip in March. The dip, however, is not any cause for concern, according to experts.

Consumer sentiment decreased 0.5% in March, following a 0.8% increase in February and two large leaps back in January and December.

“Consumer sentiment moved little this month with a 0.4 index point decrease that is well within the margin of error, and thus sentiment has been steady and essentially unchanged since January 2024,” said Joanne Hsu, director of the Surveys of Consumers.

March’s consumer sentiment reading came in at 76.5, down 0.4 points from February, but up 23.4% year-over-year. The current reading is about halfway between the historic low reached during the peak of inflation in June 2022 and pre-pandemic readings.

Hsu stated that “Small improvements in personal finances were offset by modest declines in expectations for business conditions.”

“After strong gains between November 2023 and January 2024, consumer views have stabilized into a holding pattern; consumers perceived few signals that the economy is currently improving or deteriorating,” continued Hsu. “Indeed, many are withholding judgment about the trajectory of the economy, particularly in the long term, pending the results of this November’s election.”

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