Consumer confidence remained strong in March, coming in much better than forecast riding a strong jobs market and lower fuel costs.
The index report from the University of Michigan showed sentiment at 93 for March, down from 94.5 in February, but above analysts who predicted a 91. Despite the drop, it rounds out the best quarter since 2004’s Q3.
Much of the fall is attributed to lower income households hit with higher utility costs from the harsh winter. Households in the middle and higher income brackets saw an increase in confidence.
Looking ahead, those surveyed expect the Fed to raise the interest rate sometime this year, but don’t expect the hike to affect their credit buying.