The Conference Board US consumer confidence index, which had increased in February to 71.6 points (corrected from an initially reported 70.8), pulled back slightly this month to 70.2, the New York-based market research group announced.
“The moderate decline was due solely to a less favorable short-term outlook, while consumers’ assessment of current conditions, on the other hand, continued to improve,” Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, commented. By comparison, the consensus of 79 economists polled by Bloomberg had predicted a reading of 70 points. The expectations index retreated to 83 from 88.4 points in February. However, “the present situation index now stands at its highest level in three and a half years (51 compared with 61.1 in September 2008), suggesting that despite this month’s dip in confidence, consumers feel the economy is not losing momentum,” Lynn added.