The Conference Board, a non-partisan, not-for-profit think tank founded in 1916, released today (2-23-21) their Consumer Confidence Index® (CCI), which surged in March to its highest reading in a year after a modest increase in February. The Index now stands at 109.7 (1985=100), up from 90.4 in February. The Present Situation Index — based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions — climbed from 89.6 to 110.0. The Expectations Index — based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions — also improved from 90.9 last month to 109.6 in March. Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board said in remarks prepared to accompany the March CCI, “Consumer Confidence increased to its highest level since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020.” Adding, “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions and their short-term outlook improved significantly, an indication that economic growth is likely to strengthen further in the coming months. Consumers’ renewed optimism boosted their purchasing intentions for homes, autos, and several big-ticket items. However, concerns of inflation in the short-term rose, most likely due to rising prices at the pump, and may temper spending intentions in the months ahead.”
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The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® Surged in March