Consumer Confidence Increased Sharply
March 29, 2017
Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had increased in
February, improved sharply in March. The Index now stands at 125.6
(1985=100), up from 116.1 in February. The Present Situation Index rose
from 134.4 to 143.1 and the Expectations Index increased from 103.9 last
month to 113.8.
The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design
random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a
leading global provider of information and analytics around what
consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was
“Consumer confidence increased sharply in March to its highest level
since December 2000 (Index, 128.6),” said Lynn Franco, Director of
Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of
current business and labor market conditions improved considerably.
Consumers also expressed much greater optimism regarding the short-term
outlook for business, jobs and personal income prospects. Thus,
consumers feel current economic conditions have improved over the recent
period, and their renewed optimism suggests the possibility of some
upside to the prospects for economic growth in the coming months.”
Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions improved considerably in
March. The percentage saying business conditions are “good” increased
from 28.3 percent to 32.2 percent, while those saying business
conditions are “bad” decreased from 13.4 percent to 12.9 percent.
Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was also more positive. The
percentage of consumers stating jobs are “plentiful” rose from 26.9
percent to 31.7 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get”
decreased moderately, from 19.9 percent to 19.5 percent.
were also significantly more optimistic about the short-term outlook.
The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve
over the next six months increased from 23.9 percent to 27.1 percent,
while those expecting business conditions to worsen declined from 10.5
percent to 8.4 percent.
Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was also more upbeat. The
proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased from 20.9
percent to 24.8 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs declined
from 13.6 percent to 12.2 percent. The percentage of consumers expecting
their incomes to increase improved from 19.2 percent to 21.5 percent,
while the proportion expecting a decrease declined from 8.1 percent to