Decrease in March’s Consumer Confidence Index

Comparing to the increase in the Consumer Confidence Index in February, there has been a decline in March. Now the index reflects 124.1, decreasing from 131.4 in February. The current situation index, which is based on the assessment of consumers of the current business and the conditions of the present labor market, reduced to 160.6 from 172.8. On the other hand, the Expectations Index, which is based upon the present business and labor market conditions as well as the short term outlook of the consumer for income, declined straight from 103.8 last month to 99.8 to date.

The Conference Board’s Senior Economic’s Director says “Consumer Confidence decreased in March after rebounding in February, with the Present Situation the main driver of this month’s decline. Confidence has been somewhat volatile over the past few months, as consumers have had to weather volatility in the financial markets, a partial government shutdown and a very weak February jobs report. Despite these dynamics, consumers remain confident that the economy will continue expanding in the near term. However, the overall trend in confidence has been softening since last summer, pointing to a moderation in economic growth.”

In March, there has been a decline in the assessment of consumer of the current conditions. Consumer’s stating that the current business conditions are ‘bad’ has escalated from 11.1 to 13.6% while the amount of consumer who stated that the business conditions are ‘good’ declined from 40.6% to 33.4%. Also, there has been a decline from 45.7% to 42.0% of the consumers stating their jobs as “plentiful”, while the consumers who claim that their jobs are ‘hard to get’ bloomed from 11.7 to 13.7%.

Moreover, In March, there has been a moderation in the optimistic view of consumers regarding the short-term future. Those who think positively about the chances of business conditions getting improved over the coming 6 months decreased from 19.6% to 17.7%, while a slight increase from 9.2 to 9.3 took place about the expectation of consumers about the worsening of the business conditions.

Likewise, there was a greater proportion of consumers who anticipated fewer jobs in the future and a significant decline in the percentage of consumers who were expecting to have more jobs in the near future. Hence, less favorable was the consumer’s outlook regarding the labor market.