U.S. Consumer Confidence Soars Much More Than Expected In MarchMarch 31, 2021
Consumer confidence in the U.S. skyrocketed by much more than anticipated in the month of March, according to a report released by the Conference Board on Tuesday.
The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index spiked to 109.7 in March from a downwardly revised 90.4 in February.
Economists had expected the consumer confidence index to climb to 96.0 from the 91.3 originally reported for the previous month.
With the much bigger than expected increase, the consumer confidence index reached its highest level since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March of 2020.
“Consumers’ assessment of current conditions and their short-term outlook improved significantly, an indication that economic growth is likely to strengthen further in the coming months,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board.
“Consumers’ renewed optimism boosted their purchasing intentions for homes, autos and several big-ticket items,” she added. “However, concerns of inflation in the short-term rose, most likely due to rising prices at the pump, and may temper spending intentions in the months ahead.”
The report showed the present situation index surged up to 110.0 in March from 89.6 in February, reflecting a significant improvement in consumers’ assessment of current conditions.
Consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook also improved considerably, driving the expectations index up to 109.6 in March from 90.9 in February.
Last Friday, the University of Michigan released a report showing U.S. consumer sentiment improved by even more than previously estimated in the month of March.
The University of Michigan said its consumer sentiment index for March was upwardly revised to 84.9 from the preliminary reading of 83.0. Economists had expected the index to be upwardly revised to 83.6.
The consumer sentiment index is well above the final February reading of 76.8, reaching its highest level since hitting 89.1 in the same month a year ago.
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