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Americans’ Economic Expectations Slump Most Since 2008 on Virus

A pedestrian walks through the Fulton Center subway and retail complex in New York.
A pedestrian walks through the Fulton Center subway and retail complex in New York.Photographer: Demetrius Freeman/Bloomberg

U.S. consumers’ economic expectations sank in March by the most since the depths of the last recession as the coronavirus pandemic tightened its grip on businesses across the country and rattled financial markets.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort monthly gauge slumped 11 percentage points, the sharpest retreat since October 2008, to 46.5, figures showed on Thursday. March sentiment stands in sharp contrast to the previous month, when the index improved to the highest level more than a year.