Consumers were feeling a little more upbeat in the last few weeks.
The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index rose in March, after a decrease in February.
The Index is now at 82.3, up from 78.3 last month. The Present Situation portion dipped to 80.4 from 81, while the Expectations component rose to 83.5 from 76.5.
Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, said, “Consumer confidence improved in March, as expectations for the short-term outlook bounced back from February’s decline.”
She attributed the gain to consumers being “moderately more upbeat about future job prospects and the overall economy, [although] they were less optimistic about income growth. 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.”
Consumer expectations for the six months ahead were also moderately more optimistic on the labor front. Those expecting more jobs in the months ahead edged up to 13.9 percent from 13.7 percent, while those expecting fewer jobs fell to 18 percent from 20.9 percent last month.