The University of Michigan’s preliminary March consumer sentiment index reading was 72.5 compared to the final February 73.6, the preliminary February 73.7 reading, and the final January 74.4, according to market sources.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had predicted a 73.6 reading for the index.

The expectations index was 67.2, compared to 68.4 in February, 66.9 earlier in February, and 70.1 in January.

The current conditions index was 80.8, compared to 81.8 in February, 84.1 earlier in February, and 81.1 in January.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had predicted an 82.0 reading for the current conditions index and 68.0 for the expectations index.

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