Consumer Confidence: Strongest Since Turn of the Century

March 28, 2017
Bottom Line: The consumer confidence index in March hit its highest level since December 2000. Consumers' assessments of the current conditions for businesses and jobs improved sharply, while their outlooks for the future were also more optimistic. With such a large jump it is useful to recall that this survey is done by mail, sent on the first day of the month with about 3,000 responses received back by the 18th of the month. Not dependent on phone calls and larger in respondents than Michigan's sentiment survey, for instance, these data are a reliable confirmation of one of the strongest 4-month surges in confidence in recent times. Consumer Confidence ROSE by 9.5 points in March to 125.6, compared with market expectations for a decline to 114.0. The index is now 30.7% ABOVE its year ago level. Present Situation Index ROSE by 8.7 points to 143.1. The index is 24.5% ABOVE its year ago level. The Expectations Index ROSE by 9.9 points to 113.8. The index is 36.1% ABOVE its year ago level. The labor differential, the percentage of respondents who said jobs are “hard to get” from the percentage who said jobs are “plentiful” , moved higher by 5.2 points to 12.2.