NEW YORK (3/18/13)--U.S. consumer confidence in March has fallen to its lowest level in more than a year, prompting investors to seek safety in Treasuries, resulting in higher prices and lower yields (Bloomberg.com and MarketWatch.com March 15).
Treasury yields move inversely to prices, MarketWatch explained. Yields on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note dropped three basis points to 2%, the Treasury Department said Friday.
The Thomson/Reuters University of Michigan preliminary sentiment index for March dropped to 71.8--the lowest level since December 2011--from 77.6 in February. The drop was a surprise to economists who had forecast the index to rise to 78 this month, according to a median estimate of economists in a Bloomberg survey.
Automatically triggered across-the-board federal spending cuts may be causing worries about the economy, eroding consumer sentiment, Bloomberg said.