Conference Board News Release (03/31/15)
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had decreased in February, improved in March. The index now stands at 101.3, up from 98.8 in February. The Expectations Index increased from 90.0 last month to 96.0 in March. The Present Situation Index, however, decreased from 112.1 in February to 109.1.
“Consumer confidence improved in March after retreating in February,” says Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board. “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. 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.”
Consumers’ outlook for the labor market saw gains. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead increased from 13.8% to 15.5%, while those anticipating fewer jobs declined from 14.8% to 13.5%. The proportion of consumers expecting growth in their incomes improved from 16.4% to 18.4%, while the proportion expecting a drop declined from 10.8% to 9.9%.