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The Conference Board’s U.S. consumer confidence index improved in March after decreasing in February. The index now stands at a reading of 82.3 (1985=100), up from 78.3 in February.
“Consumer confidence improved in March, as expectations for the short-term outlook bounced back from February’s decline,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board.
“While consumers were moderately more upbeat about future job prospects and the overall economy, they were less optimistic about income growth,” said Franco. “The Present Situation index, which had been on an upward trend for the past four months, was relatively unchanged in March. Overall, consumers expect the economy to continue improving and believe it may even pick up a little steam in the months ahead.”
The number of consumers anticipating more jobs in the months ahead edged up to 13.9 percent in March from 13.7 percent in February, according to the index’s survey; those expecting fewer jobs fell to 18.0 percent from 20.9 percent. However, those saying jobs are “plentiful” decreased marginally to 13.1 percent from 13.4 percent, while those saying jobs are “hard-to-get” increased slightly to 33.0 percent from 32.4 percent.