Consumer sentiment in the U.S. fell to its lowest level in over ten years in the month of March, according to a report released by the University of Michigan on Friday.
The report showed the consumer sentiment index slid to 59.7 in March from 62.8 in February. Economists had expected the index to dip to 61.4.
With the bigger than expected decrease, the consumer sentiment index dropped to its lowest level since hitting 59.5 in September 2011.
“Consumer Sentiment continued to decline due to falling inflation-adjusted incomes, recently accelerated by rising fuel prices as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” said Surveys of Consumers chief economist, Richard Curtin.
He added, “The year-ahead expected inflation rate rose to its highest level since 1981, and expected gas prices posted their largest monthly upward surge in decades.”
One-year inflation expectations jumped to 5.4 percent in March from 4.9 percent in February, while five-year inflation expectations held at 3.0 percent.
While the report showed index of current economic conditions edged down to 67.8 in March from 68.2 in February, the index of consumer expectations slumped to 54.4 from 59.4.