The Conference Board (03/25/2014)
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had declined in February, rose in March. The index now stands at 82.3, up from 78.3 in February. The Present Situation Index edged down to 80.4 from 81.0, while the Expectations Index increased to 83.5 from 76.5.
Consumers’ assessment of current conditions was little changed in March. Those claiming business conditions are “good” increased to 22.9% from 21.2%; however, those claiming business conditions are “bad” also rose, to 23.2% from 22.0%. Consumers’ appraisal of the labor market was relatively unchanged. Those claiming jobs are “plentiful” decreased marginally to 13.1% from 13.4%, while those saying jobs are “hard to get” increased slightly to 33.0% from 32.4%. However, those expecting more jobs in the months ahead edged up to 13.9% from 13.7%, while those expecting fewer jobs fell to 18.0% from 20.9%.