Consumer optimism receded in the last month of the quarter, breaking the sequence of two months of gains.
The National Index of Consumer Expectations last month stood at 102 points – a decline of 2.3% over February, reported the National Confederation of Industry (CNI) and Ibope. However, compared to March 2016, the index is up by 4.5%.
The survey asks participants to rank their expectations for the next six months in relation to inflation, unemployment, personal income, and intentions to make high-ticket purchases, as well as the perception of their financial situation and debt.
Out of these components, only the indebtedness index improved compared to the previous month, with a very small increase of 0.4%, indicating some consumers had paid off or had no debt. All other components fell, revealing a drop in confidence.
Inflation, for example, had the biggest fall, 6.9% lower in March compared to February. “This decline indicates greater consumer concern about inflation,” the study reports.
The survey took responses from 2,000 people in 126 municipalities between March 16 and 19.