After waning slightly last month, U.S. consumer confidence has rebounded in March.
The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index now stands at 96.2, which is up from the 94.0 seen in February. The Index began 2016 with a January reading of 97.8.
The Conference Board reports that consumers' appraisal of current conditions eased in March. Those saying that business conditions were "good" decreased from 26.5 percent to 24.9 percent. However, those saying that business conditions are "bad" edged down from 19.0 percent to 18.8 percent.
Consumers' appraisal of the labor market was mixed. Those claiming that jobs are "plentiful" increased from 22.8 percent to 25.4 percent, while those claiming that jobs are "hard to get" also rose to 26.6 percent from 23.6 percent.
Consumers were more optimistic about the short-term outlook in March. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months increased moderately from 14.5 percent to 15.0 percent, while those expecting business conditions to worsen decreased from 11.6 percent to 9.2 percent.
Consumers' outlook for the labor market was also more favorable. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead increased slightly from 12.2 percent to 12.9 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs decreased from 17.7 percent to 16.3 percent.
"Consumer confidence increased in March, after declining in February," said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. "Consumers' assessment of current conditions posted a moderate decline, while expectations regarding the short-term turned more favorable as last month's turmoil in the financial markets appears to have abated. On balance, consumers do not foresee the economy gaining any significant momentum in the near-term, nor do they see it worsening."
The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch.
Source: The Conference Board