Consumer Confidence Jumped in March

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased to 125.6 in March, up 9.5 points from February. The Present Situation Index rose 8.7 points to 143.1, while the Expectations Index jumped 9.9 points to 113.8.

“Consumer confidence increased sharply in March to its highest level since December 2000 (Index, 128.6),” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions improved considerably. Consumers’ also expressed much greater optimism regarding the short-term outlook for business, jobs and personal income prospects. Thus, consumers feel current economic conditions have improved over the recent period, and their renewed optimism suggests the possibility of some upside to the prospects for economic growth in the coming months.”

Consumers’ labor market outlook was more upbeat during March. The percentage of consumers expecting more jobs in the coming months increased from 20.9% to 24.8%, while the share anticipating fewer jobs declined from 13.6% to 12.2%. Income expectations also improved, as 21.5% of consumers expected their incomes to increase in coming months, up from 19.2% February.

Read the Conference Board release.