Consumer Confidence Climbs for First Time in 2022 A survey of consumer confidence rose to 107.2 in March, increasing for the first time in 2022, as steady growth of US economy continues
By Main Street Sentinel Staff
The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index, a monthly report detailing consumer attitudes toward the economy, increased to 107.2 in March, up from 105.7 in February. It’s the first time the index has risen in 2022, but it’s not the only indication that Americans’ outlook is brightening.
The Present Situation Index, another key measure of how consumers feel about current business and labor market conditions, rose by 10 points to 153.0, reaching its highest mark since July 2021.
A big factor in that positive attitude? A strong labor market. The US unemployment rate decreased dramatically in February, contributing to a 90 percent decline compared to the previous year. At the same time, nationwide data shows that Americans started 5.4 small businesses over the course of 2021, a 68 percent increase from the pre-pandemic average of 3.2 million per year.
Consumer spending has also been on the rise, despite concerns about inflation, as consumers have “put record savings to work.” Last month, sales increased by 8.7 percent year-over-year and 17.3 percent above pre-pandemic levels (February 2019). Sales growth for February outpaced even the surprisingly high rates seen in January.
Consumer confidence, said the Conference Board’s Lynn Franco, “continues to be supported by strong job growth and thus has been holding up remarkably well despite geopolitical uncertainties.”