US consumer sentiment at 93.0 in March vs. 92.0 estimate

A shopper checks out at a register at a Walmart in Los Angeles.
Jonathan Alcorn | Reuters
A shopper checks out at a register at a Walmart in Los Angeles.

U.S. consumer sentiment dropped in March, according to a report released on Friday.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final March reading on the index was 93. It was down from the previous month's reading of 95.4 but beat estimates of 92.

Consumer optimism reached a 10-year peak of 95.5 in the first quarter of 2015, its highest level since 2004.

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"Expanding job opportunities as well as more favorable wage gains have meant that consumer spending will rebound during the balance of the year," said Surveys of Consumers chief economist, Richard Curtin in a statement.

"While there is a widespread expectation that interest rates will begin to rise later in the year, few consumers anticipated that the size of the increases will dampen their credit sensitive purchase plans."

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The gauge of current economic conditions fell to 105 from 106.9 in the previous month.

Consumer expectations index also fell to 85.3 from 88 in February.