Consumer confidence rose more than expected in March, according to the University of Michigan’s latest survey of consumers.
The headline consumer sentiment index came in at 91.0.
That number was above economists’ expectations of 90.0, according to Bloomberg.
However, it was below February’s reading of 91.7.
In the report, the Surveys of Consumers chief economist Richard Curtin noted that despite the recent small monthly variations, the overall level of confidence has stayed more or less unchanged over the last nine months.
“This stability reflected more positive personal finances being offset by less favorable prospects for the economy,” he noted.
Moreover, Curtin wrote that consumers were more optimistic about their inflation-adjusted income expectations than any time since 2007.
Additionally, he continued, consumers anticipated that the slower pace of economic growth will “more than likely to an end to further declines in the unemployment rate.”
“What was surprising was that the expectations of higher gas prices and higher unemployment have not caused an increase in uncertainty about personal financial prospects,” he wrote.”To be sure, the positive outlook for consumer spending is contingent on the view held by most consumers that the jobless and inflation rates will be maintained close to their current low levels.”