United States: Consumer confidence rebounds in March and recovers ground lost in February
March 29, 2016
The consumer confidence index elaborated by the Conference Board rebounded in March and increased from an upwardly revised 94.0 points in February (previously reposted: 92.2 points) to 96.2 points. The reading also overshot the 93.8 points the markets had expected.
The higher-than-expected increase in confidence among American consumers stemmed from a more optimistic view regarding the outlook for the economy in the next six months. Analysts also attributed the increase in March to the improvement observed recently in financial markets following heightened volatility at the beginning of the year. That said, March’s survey captured a slight loss in sentiment in consumers’ opinions regarding their present economic situation, which mainly reflected an increase in gasoline prices.
The director of the Board stated that, “consumers’ assessment of current conditions posted a moderate decline, while expectations regarding the short-term turned more favorable as last month’s turmoil in the financial markets appears to have abated. On balance, consumers do not foresee the economy gaining any significant momentum in the near-term, nor do they see it worsening.”
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist