Personal Finance Word of the Day: Consumer Confidence

The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported last week that consumer spending and income was on the rise in February

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The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Survey, a measure of U.S. consumer confidence, rose to 82.3 last month. This is up from 78.3 the month before. The expectations index rose to 83.5 in March from 76.5 in February.

Consumer confidence defines how optimistic consumers feel about the general state of the economy and their personal finances. How confident consumers are will impact their financial decisions, such as how much they spend. Consumer confidence is one of the primary measures for the overall health the economy.

“Consumer confidence improved in March, as expectations for the short-term outlook bounced back from February’s decline,” says Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board in a written statement.

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Furthermore, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported last week that consumer spending and income was on the rise in February.

Despite all this good news, the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters assert that consumer sentiment was on the decline last month. The Survey of Consumers, a monthly survey conducted by the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters, showed that consumer sentiment for March was 80 — the lowest level since November. This is down from 81 one month before.

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