U.S. consumer confidence rebounds to highest levels since pandemic, but Americans remain concerned about inflation and income

by Joel Abbott · Mar 31st, 2021 3:11 pm

Last Updated Apr 1st, 2021 at 4:21 pm

More Americans have confidence in the growth of the economy than at any other time since February 2020, according to The Conference Board's consumer confidence index.

The monthly index charts Americans' attitudes toward business, job opportunities, and financial growth. The index's baseline value of 100 was set in 1985, and in 2019, the index remained between 120-130, reflecting strong consumer confidence and a booming economy.

In the past year, the index has remained largely between 80 and 90, but grew to 109.7 in March.

Americans also felt jobs were easier to find. There was a nearly five-point increase from February to 26.3% of consumers who felt jobs are currently "plentiful."

Lynn Franco, a senior director at The Conference Board, said the results showed that Americans are optimistic about "their short-term outlook" that will help the economy in coming months.

"Consumers' renewed optimism boosted their purchasing intentions for homes, autos, and several big-ticket items," she said.

However, Franco said consumers are concerned about inflation, including rising gas prices, that may have soon have larger implications for the economy.

Another negative factor was Americans' perspective of their own financial futures. Only 15.5% of individuals felt their incomes would increase over the next six months and the number of people who believed their incomes would actually decrease rose to 13.3% from 12.9% in February.

🔦 Economists also predict anywhere between 614,000 and 1 million jobs added nationwide in March.


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