Tags: Coronavirus | Financial Markets | consumer | confidence | economy | 3 year low | coronavirus

Consumer Confidence Near 3-Year Low Amid Virus Fears

Consumer Confidence Near 3-Year Low Amid Virus Fears
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Tuesday, 31 March 2020 01:37 PM

U.S. consumer confidence dropped to near a three-year low in March as households worried about the economy's near-term outlook amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has upended life for Americans.

The Conference Board said on Tuesday its consumer confidence index decreased to a reading of 120.0 this month, the lowest since July 2017, from an upwardly revised 132.6 in February. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the index falling to 110.0 in March from the previously reported reading of 130.7 in February.

The Conference Board said it expected further declines as the fallout from the coronavirus, which causes a respiratory illness called COVID-19, intensifies.

"March's decline in confidence is more in line with a severe contraction, rather than a temporary shock, and further declines are sure to follow," said Lynn Franco, senior director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, in a statement.

The survey came in the wake of reports last week showing the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits racing to a record 3.28 million in the week ending March 21, and business activity hitting an all-time low in March.

The United States has the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, with more than 163,000 infected. At least 3,017 people in the United States have died from the illness, according to a Reuters tally.

The Conference Board survey's present situation measure, based on consumers' assessment of current business and labor market conditions, dropped to 167.7 this month from 169.3 in February. The expectations index based on consumers' short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions tumbled to 88.2 from 108.1 last month.

© 2020 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


   
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Economy
U.S. consumer confidence dropped to near a three-year low in March as households worried about the economy's near-term outlook amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has upended life for Americans.
consumer, confidence, economy, 3 year low, coronavirus
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2020-37-31
Tuesday, 31 March 2020 01:37 PM
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