The Conference Board, a private research group, saw its sentiment index rise to 96.2 this month from an upwardly revised February reading of 94, according to a Bloomberg report. The median forecast called for by a Bloomberg survey had predicted a median score of 94 for March as well.
Consumer outlook for the next six months is up, with the proportion of consumers expecting more jobs to become available in the near future increasing from last month. The share of consumers who anticipated better business conditions in the next six months also improved, according to Bloomberg.
But that confidence isn’t translating into more big purchases. The share of consumers expecting to buy a home was unchanged from February, according to Bloomberg. That jibes with a report earlier this month that showed builder confidence in the housing market was unimproved from February.
And recent data show consumers are hesitant to spend in spite of growing confidence. Personal spending rose just 0.1% in February, according to Bloomberg.
Consumer confidence grew beyond expectations in March as expanded employment opportunities and rebounding stock prices boosted Americans’ optimism. That new optimism, however, isn’t necessarily translating into plans to purchase a home.