Consumer confidence falls slightly in March

Consumer confidence dipped slightly in March over concerns about economic growth, which took a hit during the cold winter. 

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final reading, released Friday, showed sentiment fell to 80 — better than the first reading of 79.9, but below the 81.6 in February.


"Current conditions in the overall economy were reported by consumers to have recently weakened, and long-term prospects for the economy softened," said survey director Richard Curtin in a statement.

But the cold winter didn't cut into confidence as much as it could have, and economists expect that could help boost spending, which represents 70 percent of economic activity. 

That goes along with better expectations for the nation's economy this year with one of three respondents expecting their finances to improve this year. That was the best showing since 2009 when the recession officially ended.

Sentiment about current economic conditions rose to 95.7 from 95.4 in February. 

Consumer expectations fell a bit to 70 from 72.7 in February.