WASHINGTON (Alliance News) – Consumer confidence in the US unexpectedly improved in the month of March, according to a report released by the Conference Board on Tuesday.

The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index jumped to 125.6 in March from a revised 116.1 in February.

The increase surprised economists, who had expected the index to dip to 113.8 from the 114.8 originally reported for the previous month.

With the unexpected increase, the consumer confidence index climb to its highest level since reaching 128.6 in December of 2000.

“Consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions improved considerably,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers also expressed much greater optimism regarding the short-term outlook for business, jobs and personal income prospects.”

She added, “Thus, consumers feel current economic conditions have improved over the recent period, and their renewed optimism suggests the possibility of some upside to the prospects for economic growth in the coming months.”

The Conference Board said the present situation index rose to 143.1 in March from 134.4 in February, while the expectations index increased to 113.8 from 103.9.

Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX


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