NEW YORK–Consumers are significantly less confident about the economy than they were one month ago, according to the latest consumer confidence survey by The Conference Board.
The consumer confidence index shed 8.6 points in the March survey to 63.4. In the two component indexes, the expectations index dropped 16.4 points to 81.1. The present situation index, meanwhile, gained 3.1 points to 36.9.
According to Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board’s Consumer Research Center, consumers are particularly worried about inflation taking hold in the months ahead. “Consumers’ inflation expectations rose significantly in March, and their income expectations soured,” Franco said, “a combination that will likely impact spending decisions.”
In queries about business conditions, the labor market and incomes over the next few months, higher percentages of consumers expressed negative views of all three factors. Current conditions in all three received better appraisals from the surveyed consumers.