• March sentiment expected to fall upon revision.
  • Widespread job losses will drive overall sentiment down.
  • Weaker consumer sentiment will likely mean lower consumer spending.

The University of Michigan will release its revised Survey of Consumers for March on Friday March 27th at 14:00 GMT 10:00 EDT


The final Consumer Sentiment Index is expected to drop to 90 in March from the preliminary reading of 95.9 and 101 in February and 99.8 in January.

Michigan Consumer Sentiment


Consumer sentiment and the US economy

The US depends on an employed and optimistic consumer to drive the 70% of economic activity that derives from consumption. Until the viral outbreak both inputs to that equation were at high levels. A booming labor market and rising wages meant consumers were happy and spending.

Job losses, primarily from the enforced closures of many service businesses but also from the population’s voluntary restriction of many of their actions, have soared with more than 3 million people filing for unemployment insurance last week.   

The impact of the overturned labor market will be far more widespread than just on the people who lost their jobs.  The threat of unemployment may now be the key factor in many decisions made by households and individuals in the next weeks and months.

Under these unusual and uncertain conditions of employment and financial solvency consumers will likely curtail spending until their own and the national situation is clarified.  Normally the more worried consumers are the greater will be the suspension of their credit cards and the greater the hit to US economic growth.


Though consumer sentiment is one of the prime ingredients in the US economic outlook and a drop would usually be considered a cause for alarm, these are not normal circumstances.

A serious decline in consumer sentiment is the new operating assumption, if not in March then surely in April.

However, in the current unique situation this may mean less than it would otherwise. Economic statistics are of less importance right now than the progress of the government in curbing the spread of the Coronavirus.   The economic basis of this focus is the logical assumption that as soon as the virus threat is diminished or eliminated spending and the economy will return with a flare. 

It may or may not be warranted but it is a vote for the resiliency and optimism of the American consumer.

Information on these pages contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Markets and instruments profiled on this page are for informational purposes only and should not in any way come across as a recommendation to buy or sell in these assets. You should do your own thorough research before making any investment decisions. FXStreet does not in any way guarantee that this information is free from mistakes, errors, or material misstatements. It also does not guarantee that this information is of a timely nature. Investing in Open Markets involves a great deal of risk, including the loss of all or a portion of your investment, as well as emotional distress. All risks, losses and costs associated with investing, including total loss of principal, are your responsibility. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of FXStreet nor its advertisers.

Analysis feed

FXStreet Trading Signals now available!

Access to real-time signals, community and guidance now!

Latest Analysis

Latest Forex Analysis

Editors’ Picks

AUD/USD keeps Tuesday’s recovery within familiar region below 0.7000

AUD/USD remains on the front foot around 0.6980 at the start of Wednesday’s Asian session. The pair snapped the previous three-day losing streak the previous day after reversing from 0.6920. Though, 0.7000 threshold remains as the key resistance for the bulls to clear.


Gold: Struggles above $1,800 amid risk-on mood

Gold bulls catch a breather near the weekly top around $1,810. The bullion has so far remained in the positive territory during the week. Though, $1,807 to $1,811 area seems to restrict the quote’s immediate upside moves.

Gold News

WTI: Prints another pullback from $41.00

WTI takes a U-turn from $41.08 to mark fifth failure to stay beyond the $41.00 threshold. 21-day EMA, a three-week-old support line restrict immediate downside. June month high, 200-day EMA offers strong resistance.

Oil News

BOJ Preview: No changes in policy, but forecast downgrades expected

After a chaotic end to Q1, the Bank of Japan is back to usual business. Policymakers will have a meeting to decide on monetary policy early Wednesday.

Read more

Euro nears 4-month highs, CAD rate decision

Over the past few weeks, euro has been one of the best performing currencies. It rose to a nearly 4 month high versus the US dollar despite weaker than expected economic data.

Read more

Forex Majors