Record-High Perceptions About the Current Economy Lifts Consumer Confidence to Best Reading Since 2004

The University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters reported that consumer confidence rose strongly in preliminary March data. The Index of Consumer Sentiment jumped from 99.7 in February to 102.0 in March, the highest level since January 2004. The press release notes that those individuals with higher incomes were less upbeat in the most recent survey—likely from volatility in equity markets and the impact that has on personal finances—but that was not enough to drag down the headline index.

Indeed, Americans were more upbeat about current economic conditions (up from 114.9 to 122.8), with that measure soaring to a new all-time high. At the same time, the index for future conditions (down from 90.0 to 88.6) pulled back slightly.

Chad Moutray

Chad Moutray

Chad Moutray is chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the Director of the Center for Manufacturing Research for The Manufacturing Institute, where he serves as the NAM’s economic forecaster and spokesperson on economic issues. He frequently comments on current economic conditions for manufacturers through professional presentations and media interviews. He has appeared on Bloomberg, CNBC, C-SPAN, Fox Business and Fox News, among other news outlets.
Chad Moutray

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