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The Conference Board came out yesterday with its monthly consumer confidence index, saying that in March it rose to its highest level in a year, going back to the beginning of the pandemic.

According to the announcement, "The Index now stands at 109.7 (1985=100), up from 90.4 in February. The Present Situation Index - based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions - climbed from 89.6 to 110.0. The Expectations Index - based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions - also improved, from 90.9 last month to 109.6 in March."

Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, said in a prepared statement that “consumers’ assessment of current conditions and their short-term outlook improved significantly, an indication that economic growth is likely to strengthen further in the coming months. Consumers’ renewed optimism boosted their purchasing intentions for homes, autos and several big-ticket items. However, concerns of inflation in the short-term rose, most likely due to rising prices at the pump, and may temper spending intentions in the months ahead."