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Consumer sentiment — What to know in markets Friday

Heidi Chung

Investors will get a peek into the U.S. consumer’s outlook on the economy on Friday. The University of Michigan will be releasing its index reading for the month of March. Economists polled by Bloomberg are expecting a reading of 95.5, up from 93.8 in February.

Now that the government shutdown is over, economists are expecting consumer confidence to strengthen. “The headline consumer confidence index rebounded to 93.8 in February, from a two-year low of 91.2, as the effects of the government shutdown faded,” Capital Economics wrote in a note on March 8. “Consumer confidence should have strengthened further in March. The stock market has remained close to a record high, jobless claims have fallen and, although gasoline prices have ticked up slightly in recent weeks, they remain much lower than they were a few months ago.”

Capital Economics also noted that a U.S.-China trade deal could also help spark further confidence. However on Thursday, Bloomberg reported that a meeting between the two nations would occur in April at the earliest and not in March like previously anticipated.

Friday’s reading will provide additional insight into how the U.S. consumers are viewing current the state of the economy.

Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung .

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