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US consumer sentiment climbed mildly in March, but Americans still remained sharply divided on how the new administration will affect their lives in the future, a survey on Friday showed.

The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment gauge climbed to 97.6 in March, from 96.3 in the previous month. Wall Street economists expected a rise to 97.

UMich’s index rose in January to 98.5, the highest level since 2004. It has rallied sharply from 87.2 in October following Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the election.

As has been the case in recent months, however, Americans remain sharply divided on how Mr Trump will impact them in the future.

” …there was no moderation in these extreme views from last month, with the maintenance of the partisan divide fueled by selective attention to economic news, with Democrats more frequently reporting unfavorable developments and Republicans more frequently hearing of favorable changes,” UMich said, adding that, “This combination will result in uneven spending gains over time and across products.”

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