U.S. consumers’ mood brightened a bit in March, nudged up by increased confidence in government economic policy, but overall sentiment remained near an all-time low, a survey showed.

The Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers said its final index of sentiment rose to 57.3 in March from 56.3 in February. This was a touch above economists’ median expectation of a 56.6 reading, according to a Reuters poll.

The index of consumer expectations rose to 53.5 from 50.5. Survey director Richard Curtin said confidence in the Obama administration’s economic policies improved consumers’ mood, with 22 percent of those surveyed rating policy favorably in March, compared with 7 percent in January.

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