Last Update: 31-Mar-15 10:19 ET
- The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index increased to 101.3 in March from an upwardly revised 98.8 (from 96.4) in February. The Briefing.com Consensus pegged the Consumer Confidence Index at 96.4.
- Improvements in labor market conditions was the main catalyst for the increase in confidence. That follows an initial claims level that returned to its sub-300,000 trend over the past couple of weeks.
- Unlike the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index, which dropped to 93.0 in March from 95.4 in February, higher gasoline prices and volatility in the equity markets seemed to have little impact on the Consumer Confidence Index this month.
- The Expectations Index increased to 96.0 in March from 90.0 in February. The Present Conditions Index fell to 109.1 from 112.1 in February.
- Improvements in confidence will likely have no bearing on consumption trends. Consumption relies on income growth and not changes in confidence. As long at the labor market situation continues to improve, consumption should follow.
- Consumer sentiment has little influence on consumption. As long as payroll levels continue to expand, the resulting income growth should keep consumption gains steady regardless of the monthly ebbs and flows in sentiment.
|Employment ('plentiful' less 'hard to get')
|1 yr inflation expectations