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Consumer sentiment falls to new decade-long low as inflation fears soar
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A recent survey by the University of Michigan found that consumer sentiment fell to a new decade-long low as concerns about inflation grow amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (MCSI), a monthly survey of how consumers feel about the economy, personal finances, business conditions, and buying conditions, ended March 2022 at 59.4%, representing a 5.4% decline from the final reading of 62.8% in February 2022 and a 30.0% decline from the index’ reading of 84.9% one year ago in March 2021.
The end of March reading of 59.4% is down by .5% from what was already a decade-long low of 59.7 recorded in mid-March.
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The chief economist for the University of Michigan's Survey of Consumers, Richard Curtin, said that policymakers should consider the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24 and entered its 32nd day Sunday, a major source of continued economic disruption, with new COVID variants also being a fairly minor factor.
The survey found that inflation has been the primary cause of rising pessimism, with an expected year-ahead inflation rate at 5.4%, the highest since November 1981.