U.S. Consumer Confidence Surges

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A closely-watched survey measuring consumer confidence in the US surged to a multi-year high in March as sentiment surrounding current conditions and jobs showed marked improvements boding well for future economic growth prospects.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which is seen as a barometer of the health of the US economy from the perspective of the consumer, rose to 125.6 in March, marking the highest level since December 2000 and beating economists’ expectations for a reading of 114. The index had scored a reading of 116.1 in February.

The percentage of survey participants saying that business conditions were “good” increased from 28.3% in February to 32.2% in March, while those saying business conditions were “bad” decreased from 13.4% to 12.9% over the same time frame, according to the report. Consumers’ assessments of the labor market was also more positive; the percentage of participants stating that jobs were “plentiful” rose from 26.9% to 31.7%, while those claiming jobs were “hard to get” decreased moderately, from 19.9% to 19.5%.

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