The Conference Board announced on Tuesday, March 28, that its consumer confidence index increased from 103.4 in February to 104.2 in March.
Consumer confidence in the United States surprisingly climbed in March. However, Americans are still concerned about the labor situation and expect inflation to continue to be high over the next year.
As per the Economic Times, the Conference Board survey, which was conducted almost two weeks after the failure of two regional banks in the United States, also revealed that more consumers intended to purchase automobiles and home appliances like refrigerators, washing machines, and television sets over the following six months.
On the other hand, consumers intended to reduce their discretionary spending on things like gambling, trips to theme parks, seeing movies, and eating out. Yet, they wanted to raise spending on personal grooming, pet care, house and auto upkeep, and healthcare.
Although there hasn’t been a strong relationship between consumer confidence and spending, the study found that consumption may expand slightly and support the broader economy.
The business research group’s present situation index, which gauges consumers’ opinions on the state of the economy and labor market, dropped slightly from 153 last month to 151.1 this month.
The board’s expectations index, which measures consumers’ expectations for the six months of income, business, and labor circumstances, increased in March from 70.4 to 73. According to the Conference Board, a number below 80 frequently foreshadows a recession for the following year.
The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates nine times since March of last year to chill the economy and lower persistent, four-decade-high inflation. Still, consumer spending, accounting for nearly 70% of U.S. economic activity, has remained robust. The cost of using credit cards or getting a loan for a home, vehicle, or other items may increase due to such rate changes.
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