The Conference Board released a report on Tuesday showing an unexpected improvement in U.S. consumer confidence in the month of March.
The report showed the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose to 107.2 in March from a revised 105.7 in February.
The increase came as a surprise to economists, who had expected the index to dip to 107.0 in March from the 110.5 originally reported for the previous month.
The unexpected uptick by the headline index came as the present situation index jumped to 153.0 in March from 143.0 in February.
Meanwhile, the report showed the expectations index fell to 76.6 in March from 80.8 in the previous month.
“The Present Situation Index rose substantially, suggesting economic growth continued into late Q1,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Expectations, on the other hand, weakened further with consumers citing rising prices, especially at the gas pump, and the war in Ukraine as factors.”
She added, “Meanwhile, purchasing intentions for big-ticket items like automobiles have softened somewhat over the past few months as expectations for interest rates have risen.”