U.S. Consumer Confidence Reached 16-Year High in March

The Conference Board said that the U.S. consumer confidence in March reached the highest level since December 2000, which was boosted by wage growth, cheap gasoline and strong job growth.

According to the Conference Board, an index of Americans' perceptions of the economy and labor market rose to 125.6, which is the highest in the past 16 years, from 116.1 in February. The increase was better than Bloomberg’s expectation of dropping to 114.

The present condition gauge rose from 134.4 to 143.1, which is the highest level since August 2001. Meanwhile, share of those that said more jobs will be available in the coming month jumped from 20.9% to 24.8%, which is the strongest since November 1983.

In addition, the share of person that said business conditions are “good” rose to 32.2% from the 28.3% in February, and the share saying jobs are “plentiful” increased from 26.9% to 31.7%. 19.5% said jobs are “hard to get”. Americans’ perceptions of the outlook over the next six months also improved. 27.1% of people that is surveyed expect business conditions to improve in the next half year, and only 8.4% expect business conditions to worsen.

“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,” Lynn Franco, the Conference Board’s director of economic indicators, said on Tuesday in a statement.

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