Conference Board News Release (03/26/13)
The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index slipped from 68 in February to 59.7 in March, which Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators, attributes to a significant decrease in expectations, likely a result of the economic uncertainty created by the sequester. The Expectations Index plummeted from 72.4 to 60.9, while the Present Situation Index fell from 61.4 to 57.9. When it comes to the job market, the percentage of consumers believing jobs are plentiful declined from 10.1% to 9.4%, at the same time that the percentage who think jobs are hard to get dropped from 36.9% to 36.2%. Consumers’ short-term outlook reveals a decrease in those expecting more jobs in the coming months from 16.1% to 12.3%, an increase in those expecting fewer jobs from 22.1% to 26.6%, a drop in those expecting income gains from 15.8% to 13.7%, and a decline in those expecting incomes to fall from 19.3% to 18.0%.