U.S. consumer confidence slumped in March to the lowest level since mid-2017 even before the worst of this month’s layoffs spread through the economy as efforts to mitigate the virus pandemic shuttered many businesses.

The Conference Board’s index fell 12.6 points, the most since 2011, to 120, according to a figures issued Tuesday that were higher than the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists had called for a decline to 110. The cutoff date for the results was March 19, which was before the layoffs during the month intensified.

The group’s subindex of expectations, based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions, fell to the lowest level since October 2016. Attitudes about current economic conditions only eased somewhat, with the group’s subindex slumping to the lowest since November.

“However, the intensification of Covid-19 and extreme volatility in the financial markets have increased uncertainty about the outlook for the economy and jobs,” Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at the Conference Board, said in a statement. “March’s decline in confidence is more in line with a severe contraction – rather than a temporary shock – and further declines are sure to follow.”

While the broad confidence gauge fell less than forecast, buying plans deteriorated with fewer respondents indicating they’ll purchase cars, homes or major appliances in the next six months.

Retail store closures and widespread layoffs prompted consumers to dial back buying plans as well. Macy’s Inc., which closed all of its stores on March 18, said Monday that it will furlough the majority of its workers starting April 1.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.