Argentina: Downbeat consumer sentiment largely unchanged in March
March 23, 2017
In March, the Universidad Torcuato di Tella (UTDT) consumer confidence index rose from an almost two-year-low of 40.7 in February to 41.0 in March. As a result, the index is still well below the 50-point threshold that separates pessimistic from optimistic sentiment. Consumer confidence, particularly among lower-income households, has been negatively affected by the Macri administration’s reforms, which have led to job cuts and a high rate of inflation. These have in turn led to widespread protests, with a general strike set to take place on 6 April.
In March, consumers were more optimistic about their current financial situation compared to one year ago. Their outlook for their future financial situation also improved, albeit from a very low base in February. Households’ assessment of the country’s macroeconomic situation rose slightly in the long-term term in March, while the assessment for the short-term virtually stagnated. Consumer’s willingness to make major purchases continued to decline in March after plunging in February.
Author: David Ampudia, Economist