Americans are in a buying mood according to the latest consumer confidence numbers that blew away estimates.
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence index for March came in at 101.3 against expectations of 94.6, which was February’s initial reading. In this report though, February’s number, while down for the month was revised up to 98.8.
The above 100 reading is a major benchmark as it hit a level not seen since pre-recession days.
“Consumer confidence improved in March after retreating in February. This month’s increase was driven by an improved short-term outlook for both employment and income prospects; consumers were less upbeat about business conditions,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board.
Consumers however were not as bullish on current conditions which fell for the second straight month. Those who believe current business conditions are “bad” increased from 16.7% to 19.4%. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions declined for the second consecutive month, suggesting that growth may have softened in Q1, and doesn’t appear to be gaining any significant momentum heading into the spring months,” said Franco.
The outlook for the labor market saw big gains with those anticipating future job growth rose to 15.5% from 13.8%. And more consumers are expecting their income to rise while fewer are expecting their income to fall.
Follow this link to see the full Conference Board Consumer Confidence index for March.