AddThis

Consumer sentiment slips as gas prices rise

NEW YORK — Though rising gas prices put a damper on consumer sentiment in March, Americans are no longer shocked by $4 gasoline.

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, contrary to economists' forecasts for a gain to 76.0.

Despite this dip, consumers are confident the employment situation will improve.

"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."

© 2014 Retailing Today. All Rights Reserved.