ECON: Consumers More Confident Today, Expectations Decline
* Confidence down to 70.2 (forecast 70.3) from 71.6 last month
*Present Situation index improved and expectations declined
* 1yr Inflation Expectations highest since May 2011
* Present situation highest since 9/08
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had increased in February, pulled back slightly in March. The Index now stands at 70.2 (1985=100), down from 71.6 in February. The Present Situation Index, however, increased to 51.0 from 46.4. The Expectations Index declined to 83.0 from 88.4 in February.
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 March 15.
Says Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center: "Consumer Confidence pulled back slightly in March, after rising sharply in February. The moderate decline was due solely to a less favorable short-term outlook, while consumers’ assessment of current conditions, on the other hand, continued to improve. The Present Situation Index now stands at its highest level in three and a half years (61.1, Sept. 2008), suggesting that despite this month's dip in confidence, consumers feel the economy is not losing momentum."