The consumer sentiment reading dropped unexpectedly, coming in at 79.9 this month, below the estimated 82 and following February’s 81.6.
Although consumers were upbeat about the current situation, outlook on the future was less positive, with the attitude that increasing house prices may not be here to stay.
And while half of those surveyed are expecting their biggest annual income gain since 2008, the other half are expecting a fall in their living standards over the next year.
Anything above 50 suggests growth, but the drop will no doubt add to the view that more subdued data could soften the Fed’s pace of tapering. Earlier today, a release from the Department of Labour showed the producer price index fell 0.1 per cent in February.