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U.S. Consumer Confidence Rises Slightly in March
US Economy | Written by CEP News | Mar 31 09 14:07 GMT |
(CEP News) – The U.S. Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose less than expected in March after reaching an all-time low in February.
The U.S. Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose to 26 from February’s upwardly revised 25.3 reading, which was the all-time low for the index. Economists had expected the survey to rise to 28.0 in March.
The present situation component continued to fall to 21.5 from February’s 22.3 reading, while the expectations component rose to 28.9 from 27.3 in February.
“The Present Situation Index suggests that the overall state of the economy remains weak and that more job losses are on the horizon,” said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. “Apprehension about the outlook for the economy, the labor market and earnings continues to weigh heavily on consumers’ attitudes. Looking ahead, consumers remain extremely pessimistic about the short-term future and do not foresee a turnaround in economic conditions over the coming six months.”
One-year inflation expectations held steady at 5.9%. In June and July of 2008, the inflation index peaked at 7.5%.
The closely watched labour differential between jobs ‘hard to get’ and jobs ‘plentiful’ deepened to -44.4 in March from -42.3 in February. One year ago, the differential was -5.3.
Just 6.8% of participants said present labour conditions are good, while 51.1% said conditions are bad.
Those anticipating business conditions to worsen over the next six months fell to 39.1% from 40.7%, while those expecting conditions to improve rose to 9.1% from 8.5% in March.
The outlook for the labour market was mixed compared to last month. The percentage of consumers anticipating fewer jobs in the months ahead fell to 42.6% from 47%, while those expecting more jobs rose to 7.1% from 6.8%. The proportion of consumers anticipating an increase in their incomes fell to 7.5% from 7.9%.
Source: By Stephen Huebl www.actionforex.com