US consumer confidence recovers in March

| March 30, 2010 | 0 Comments

US consumer confidence recovered in March after taking a dive in February.

The closely-monitored Consumer Confidence Index from the Conference Board rose to 52.5 in March, up from the 46.4 reading in the previous month.

However, despite the rise, the index still remains far away from the 90 points required to show that the world’s largest economy is on solid footing.

Furthermore, the reading is still below the reading of 61.4 recorded in September 2008 - at the height of the global financial crisis. Since the index commenced in 1967, the average reading has been 95.6.

According to Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Centre: “Consumer confidence, which had declined sharply in February, managed to recoup most of the loss in March.”

She added: “Despite this month’s increase, consumers continue to express concern about current business and labor market conditions.

“And, their outlook for the next six months is still rather pessimistic. Overall, consumer confidence levels have not changed significantly since last spring,” said Franco.

In related news, the Commerce Department last week revealed that the world’s no.1 economy grew at a slower rate in the fourth quarter than previous estimates showed.

According to official figures, the US economy grew by an annualised 5.6% between the October and December period, rather than the 5.9% and the 5.7% previously estimated.

For the whole of 2009, GDP fell at an unrevised 2.4% - this represented the largest full-year contraction since the 10.9% fall after the Second World War.

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