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U.S. consumer confidence improved in March because of more signs of positive employment, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers. The surveys’ consumer sentiment gauge rose to a reading of 78.6 in March from 77.6 in February.
“Although confidence dipped in early March, since the middle of the month consumers have expressed improved prospects for economic growth,” Richard Curtin, Surveys of Consumers chief economist, said in a statement.
“Two factors were responsible for the gains: consumers discounted the administration’s warning about economic catastrophe following the cuts in federal spending, and consumers have renewed their expectations that job gains will accelerate in the months ahead,” Curtin said. “This is not the first time that optimism increased following the Great Recession, but the recent gains stand a better chance to be sustained and ultimately lead to a lower unemployment rate and support consumer spending increases in the year ahead.”