Consumer Sentiment Slips On Higher Gas Prices

Consumer sentiment dipped in early March as rising gasoline prices pushed Americans' inflation expectations for the next year higher, a survey released on Friday showed.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment slipped to 74.3 from 75.3 in February, shy of economists' forecasts for a gain to 76.0.

Even so, consumers did not expect the run-up in gasoline prices to last very long and anticipated further gains in employment this year.

"Overall, the data indicate that $4 gasoline has lost its shock value, although the drain on discretionary income will still affect spending, mostly among lower income households," survey director Richard Curtin said in a statement.

"If gasoline prices approach $5 per gallon, however, a widespread and substantial impact is likely."

The survey's one-year inflation expectation accelerated to its highest level since last May at 4.0 percent from 3.3 percent last month, while the survey's five-to-10-year inflation outlook rose to 3.0 percent from 2.9 percent.

The barometer of current economic conditions edged up to 84.2 from 83.0, while gauge of consumer expectations fell to 68.0 from 70.3.


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  • by Lennie P. Location: Kinston, NC on Mar 18, 2012 at 02:12 PM
    Gas currently costs on average $8.70 per gallon in Europe, compared to $3.90 here in the U.S.! Diesel cost the Europeans $11.00 per gallon, compared to over $4.00 here. A Democrat here a few years ago in said, "we don't pay enough for gas". Couple that with Obama's punishing weak energy, anti-oil policy, and you have disaster for the we Americans!
    • reply
      by Ticonderoga on Mar 18, 2012 at 03:51 PM in reply to Lennie P.
      There's an easy answer for that. Send Obummer over to Europe to further ruin their already declining economy, and leave America alone!
  • by Anonymous on Mar 18, 2012 at 07:51 AM
    In 2008, the man that president Obama chose to make his energy policy stated that he wants the uSA to pay the same amount for gasoline as the Europeans. Obama's energy secretaary also does not drive a car. President Obama's energy policy has been a nighmare for working class Americans. For hope and change vote for a new president in November.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 18, 2012 at 04:05 PM in reply to
      like you did with Bush, gas at $5.00 per gal!
  • by Devil Dog Location: Greenville,NC on Mar 18, 2012 at 07:18 AM
    He is a lying fool, and just repeats the George Soros and other Marxist/Socialist garbage. Obama is the dummy and Soros the ventriloquist. Great Britain now has $10.00 gas. The Sheeple and Lemmings will follow him anywhere. Wake up America!
  • by Right on Mar 18, 2012 at 06:17 AM
    Part of this is right. It says $4.00 a gallon will have an effect on lower class spending. What they fail to realize is that after 4 years of obama unless you are rich, you are lower class. obama has succeeded in seperating the US into two classes. He has divided us so badly that four more years of him and the U.S. will no longer be the country we all love so dearly.
  • by Formerly O.L.I. Location: ENC on Mar 18, 2012 at 05:25 AM
    A week ago, Obama visited Charlotte to state he's working bring gas prices down, but they went up. What gives?
    • reply
      by Frank Sinatra on Mar 18, 2012 at 03:42 PM in reply to Formerly O.L.I.
      If you research it, most companies he has visited in the last 3 years have gone bankrupt shortly there after.
  • by Madea on Mar 18, 2012 at 04:53 AM
    Why would President Obama do anything to drive up the price of gasoline? Both parties agree that the only thing that will endanger his re-election chances are the high price of gasoline. Doesn’t it make more sense that the party (Republican) that does not have the presidency would prefer the higher gas prices? Let’s remember that the largest donors to the Republican Party are the Big Oil companies. Remember, the GOP promise..to do Anything to make sure he is a One Term President...even if it means destroying the country!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 19, 2012 at 04:57 AM in reply to Madea
      Wrong the largest donor to the most likely winner of teh presidential race is large oil companies. They back Republicans and Democrats. When there is a swing either way you see their money go in that direction. IT is a pay for play. The Republicans have always wanted to open more territory for drilling. Bush was blocked and now Obama continued this. In addition Obama has also restricted the usage of CNG for cars to such an extent that a tax qualified conversion cost about $10k. He is totally against us using any of our reserves.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 18, 2012 at 04:45 AM
    Every time a Republicans complains about high gas prices...PUNCH HIM IN THE MOUTH!!!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 18, 2012 at 07:52 AM in reply to
      Spoken like a true socialist dictator.
    • reply
      by Anon on Mar 18, 2012 at 04:32 PM in reply to
      prices are too high. your move princess.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 18, 2012 at 05:19 PM in reply to
      just like a dem
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 19, 2012 at 12:50 PM in reply to
      Really? Are you somewhere I can do that in person? I'd love to have you arrested for assault after I exercise my right to defend myself.
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Mar 18, 2012 at 04:20 AM
    I'd say, if you wanted hope and change...you got what you voted for. If you wanted wealth redistribution, well, you got what you voted for, too bad it was your wealth he was talking about. You wanted Obamacare, you got it and look at all the terds that have floated up. Funny, nothing says sucker like an Obama supporter especially, after you see him cut off the pipeline and kill drilling in the gulf. I see some that are saying that wasn't the reason, I say, your foot be bleedin.....
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 18, 2012 at 07:29 AM in reply to Obama Snake Oil Co
      You are soooo lame, the United States is EXPORTING MORE OIL now than it has in 40 years. In case you have not been paying attention, their is no shortage of oil, only an oversupply of greed!
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Mar 19, 2012 at 12:51 PM in reply to
        Then why is Obama claiming that there is a supply shortage causing part of the problem?
  • by Globalization Location: USA on Mar 18, 2012 at 03:44 AM
    Our current Prez has been on the world apology tour for 4 years now....and by exporting more oil than we use (oil production gratis of GWB, exporting instead of keeping it here is Obummer's strategy) he is working to push our fuel prices to match Europe. You know how the Prez hates for any country to be jealous of the U.S. so he is doing his darnedest to bankrupt us like Greece. Obummer took the 9-9-9 plan from Herman Cain to mean $9.99 per gallon of fuel!
    • reply
      by Madea on Mar 18, 2012 at 04:57 AM in reply to Globalization
      Who does the high gas prices hurt the most? Low income taxpayers. People who have exorbitant incomes and are able to pay high-priced accountants to get them lower tax rates (less than 15 percent) are not concerned about the price of gasoline for a period of time, in order to get as many Republicans back in power as possible. Remember, they did the same thing to President Carter.
    • reply
      by obamanot on Mar 18, 2012 at 06:00 AM in reply to Globalization
      Yeah and then turns around and talks about going in our oil reserves again.This libterdial dumpofcrap only makes sense to people that think he is some sort of a god.
    • reply
      by College educated on Mar 18, 2012 at 06:28 AM in reply to Globalization
      Yeah, because Obama is the CEO of every oil company and personally makes these decisions, not Exxon, BP, and Mobil. Guess what? Even with high gas prices, the economy is improving. In fact, high gas prices are a sign of the improving economy.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Mar 18, 2012 at 07:27 AM in reply to College educated
        I was wondering when someone would point that out. These Republicans are so ignorant.
        • reply
          by buckofama on Mar 18, 2012 at 02:10 PM in reply to
          Ignorant?What's ignorant is when you dumbocrats post up here about america ships most of our oil over seas claiming things are getting better and then obama is getting right to tap into our reserves.Why would he tap into our reserves if things are getting better?He tried this same thing last june and it did not do anything for the economy.You college brained washed educated libtards need to start thinking for yourself.You guys/gals dumbocrats sound like a bunch of fools.
      • reply
        by obamanot on Mar 18, 2012 at 10:17 AM in reply to College educated
        Gas was down to $1.80 in kinston the last couple of months Bush was prez with an uneployment rate below 8%.
        • reply
          by Lee on Mar 18, 2012 at 02:18 PM in reply to obamanot
          Yea it fell lower than that just before his election bid. then after his reelection it shot up to over $4.00 per gallon So who says there isn't something that can't be done.
  • by BLAH on Mar 18, 2012 at 03:28 AM
    What a load of oblhamadefication.
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