Spain: Consumer confidence drops in March
April 4, 2011
The index of consumer confidence produced by the National Credit Institute (ICO, Instituto de Credito Oficial) plunged to 68.3 points in March from 73.4 points in February, ending two consecutive months of gains in consumer confidence. As a result, consumer sentiment sits 4.4 points below the level observed in the same month the previous year. Moreover, with the March decline, consumer confidence dropped further below the 100-point threshold that separates optimistic from pessimistic territory, which suggests that private consumption will remain weak. The deterioration in consumer sentiment was broad-based, as both the current situation and the expectations sub-indexes deteriorated over the previous month. Gloomy expectations across all three categories (general economic situation, households' situation and employment conditions) do not bode well for private consumption in the months to come.