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Rising Expectations Drive Consumer Confidence Higher

Tuesday, March 25, 2014, CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

Consumer confidence rebounded nicely in March. The composite index rose 4.0 points to 82.3 over the month, more than reversing the dip in February when harsh winter weather battered much of the country.
The increase puts the composite index at its highest point since early 2008, although confidence remains a long way off from the levels seen over the expansion of 2001-2007.
Improving expectations about the economy drove confidence higher in March. The expectations index rose 7.0 points over the month as consumers' views of future business conditions and employment improved.
Consumers' view of present conditions worsened slightly, driving the month. The present situation index paused after advancing for four straight months, slipping 0.6 points from its post-recession high.
The overall trend, however, remains solid, having risen 21.2 points over the past year. Assessments of current business conditions were split, with the share of consumers reporting business conditions as "good" and the share reporting conditions as "bad" each rising over the month.

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