Consumer confidence rose more than expected in March, according to a preliminary report from the University of Michigan.
The consumer sentiment index increased to 97.6 from 96.3 in the final February survey, according to Bloomberg. A reading of 97 had been expected.
This measure of consumer confidence and others have jumped since the November election. And although they are a gauge of how Americans feel about the new administration, the details show that opinions are more divided than ever.
“Importantly, there was no moderation in these extreme views from last month, with the maintenance of the partisan divide fueled by selective attention to economic news, with Democrats more frequently reporting unfavorable developments and Republicans more frequently hearing of favorable changes,” said Richard Curtin, the survey’s chief economist.
“Optimism promotes discretionary spending, and uncertainty makes consumers more cautious spenders,” Curtin said. “This combination will result in uneven spending gains over time and across products.”