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Consumer Confidence Surges.

March Results

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index, which had declined moderately in February, surged in March. The Index now stands at 110.2 (1985=100), up from 95.0 in February. The Present Situation Index rose from 96.4 to 111.5, while the Expectations Index increased from 94.0 to 109.3.

The Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households. The monthly survey is conducted for The Conference Board by NFO WorldGroup, a member of The Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG).

Consumers' appraisal of current conditions improved significantly in March. Those rating conditions as "good" increased from 17.6 to 20.7 percent, while consumers rating current business conditions as "bad" dropped from 22.8 percent 18.1 percent. Consumers reporting jobs were plentiful rose from 18.2 percent to 20.6 percent. Those claiming jobs were "hard to get" fell from 22.6 percent to 20.8 percent.

Consumers' short-term outlook was also more upbeat than last month. The percent of respondents expecting an improvement in business conditions increased from 22.3 percent to 25.0 percent. Those anticipating conditions to worsen declined from 11.1 percent to 6.3 percent. The employment outlook was also more positive. Now, 20.6 percent of consumers expect more jobs to become available, up from 18.3 percent. Those expecting fewer jobs to become available decreased from 19.5 percent to 13.6 percent. Regarding income prospects, 22.0 percent of consumers foresee an increase versus 20.5 percent in February.

Consumers' confidence has been bolstered by the improvement in business and labor market conditions. The jump in the Present Situation Index is the largest gain experienced in 25 years, while the Expectations Index has not risen this sharply in nearly a decade. All in all, this recent surge in confidence should translate into a pickup in consumer spending, and in the overall pace of economic growth.

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Consumer Confidence and Buying Plans

Based on surveys conducted by NFO Research, Inc.

Percentage of households = 100%

 2001
All series seasonally Mar. Apr. May June
adjusted

Composite Series: Index
 Numbers, 1985 = 100

Consumer Confidence Index 116.9 109.9 116.1 118.9
 Present Situation 167.5 156.0 159.6 156.8
 Expectations 83.1 79.1 87.1 93.5

Appraisal of Present
 Situation: Percent

Business Conditions
 Good 33.0 28.2 30.7 28.9
 Bad 10.8 13.2 11.5 12.6
 Normal 56.2 58.6 57.8 58.5
Employment
 Jobs plentiful 43.8 40.1 39.3 38.3
 Jobs not so plentiful 43.6 45.7 46.4 47.8
 Jobs hard to get 12.6 14.2 14.3 13.9

Expectations for Six
 Months Hence: Percent

Business Conditions
 Better 15.1 14.1 16.8 17.1
 Worse 13.7 14.5 13.5 10.9
 Same 71.2 71.4 69.7 72.0
Employment
 More jobs 12.2 12.3 14.1 15.6
 Fewer jobs 20.4 22.9 19.9 18.1
 Same 67.4 64.8 66.0 66.3
Income
 Increase 23.4 22.7 24.9 24.4
 Decrease 7.0 7.7 7.6 7.1
 Same 69.6 69.6 67.5 68.5

Plans to Buy Within
 Six Months: Percent

Automobile
 Yes 7.9 7.7 9.5 6.7
 New 3.8 3.7 4.2 3.4
 Used 3.1 2.8 3.8 2.8
 Uncertain 1.0 1.2 1.5 0.5
Home
 Yes 4.2 3.6 3.6 3.4
 New 1.2 1.1 1.0 0.9
 Lived in 1.9 1.4 1.4 1.5
 Uncertain 1.1 1.1 1.2 1.0
Major appliances
 Total plans 28.9 29.8 30.9 27.7
 Refrigerator 4.0 4.3 4.6 4.2
 Washing machine 3.9 3.7 4.2 3.4
 TV Set 7.3 7.6 7.0 7.0
 Vacuum Cleaner 5.7 4.8 6.2 4.5
 Range 2.7 3.4 3.1 3.3
 Clothes dryer 3.6 3.7 3.6 3.5
 Air conditioner 1.7 2.3 2.2 1.8
Carpet 5.7 6.4 5.7 5.6

Vacation Intended Within
 Six Months: Percent

Vacation Intended 46.2 44.2
 Destination
 U.S. 38.9 37.7
 Foreign country 8.8 8.0
 Means of Travel
 Automobile 24.1 24.6
 Airplane 22.4 19.9
 Other 3.0 3.3

 2001
All series seasonally July Aug. Sept. Oct.
adjusted

Composite Series: Index
 Numbers, 1985 = 100

Consumer Confidence Index 116.3 114.0 97.0 85.3
 Present Situation 151.3 144.5 125.4 107.2
 Expectations 92.9 93.7 78.1 70.7

Appraisal of Present
 Situation: Percent

Business Conditions
 Good 28.5 27.7 22.3 18.6
 Bad 14.6 15.5 18.3 20.7
 Normal 56.9 56.8 59.4 60.7
Employment
 Jobs plentiful 35.6 33.6 27.1 20.9
 Jobs not so plentiful 50.3 50.4 54.1 58.5
 Jobs hard to get 14.1 16.0 18.8 20.6

Expectations for Six
 Months Hence: Percent

Business Conditions
 Better 17.2 19.1 15.7 17.6
 Worse 11.2 10.7 15.8 20.3
 Same 71.6 70.2 68.5 62.1
Employment
 More jobs 15.0 15.7 12.9 13.9
 Fewer jobs 16.4 17.7 22.5 29.0
 Same 68.6 66.6 64.6 57.1
Income
 Increase 22.1 23.2 21.1 18.0
 Decrease 7.5 8.3 9.3 10.9
 Same 70.4 68.5 69.6 71.1

Plans to Buy Within
 Six Months: Percent

Automobile
 Yes 9.4 8.1 7.3 8.8
 New 4.3 3.8 2.8 4.5
 Used 3.9 3.5 2.8 2.9
 Uncertain 1.2 0.8 1.7 1.4
Home
 Yes 3.8 3.9 3.6 3.5
 New 1.0 1.1 1.1 1.2
 Lived in 1.7 1.7 1.4 1.3
 Uncertain 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.0
Major appliances
 Total plans 31.3 31.5 29.4 26.8
 Refrigerator 4.2 4.7 4.7 4.1
 Washing machine 4.4 3.8 3.9 4.0
 TV Set 7.5 7.3 7.5 6.8
 Vacuum Cleaner 5.5 6.1 5.7 3.9
 Range 3.6 3.2 2.8 3.3
 Clothes dryer 4.0 3.9 2.8 3.3
 Air conditioner 2.1 2.5 2.0 1.4
Carpet 5.8 5.3 5.3 5.7

Vacation Intended Within
 Six Months: Percent

Vacation Intended 46.0 48.0
 Destination
 U.S. 38.6 40.7
 Foreign country 8.8 8.6
 Means of Travel
 Automobile 25.1 26.0
 Airplane 19.8 18.4
 Other 4.1 4.5

 2001 2002
All series seasonally Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. (r)
adjusted

Composite Series: Index
 Numbers, 1985 = 100

Consumer Confidence Index 84.9 94.6 97.8 95.0
 Present Situation 107.2 97.8 98.1 96.4
 Expectations 70.7 92.4 97.6 94.0

Appraisal of Present
 Situation: Percent

Business Conditions
 Good 16.8 17.3 18.2 17.6
 Bad 20.7 21.7 22.4 22.8
 Normal 62.5 61.0 59.4 59.6
Employment
 Jobs plentiful 17.5 17.9 18.4 18.2
 Jobs not so plentiful 59.8 60.2 59.1 59.2
 Jobs hard to get 22.7 21.9 22.5 22.6

Expectations for Six
 Months Hence: Percent

Business Conditions
 Better 17.7 22.2 24.9 22.3
 Worse 16.9 11.6 9.8 11.1
 Same 65.4 66.2 65.3 66.6
Employment
 More jobs 14.4 16.5 18.9 18.3
 Fewer jobs 26.3 19.3 18.0 19.5
 Same 59.3 64.2 63.1 62.2
Income
 Increase 22.0 21.5 20.1 20.5
 Decrease 10.3 9.1 9.6 9.2
 Same 67.7 69.4 70.3 70.3

Plans to Buy Within
 Six Months: Percent

Automobile
 Yes 7.1 8.0 7.6 8.1
 New 3.3 3.6 3.0 3.2
 Used 2.6 3.5 3.4 3.4
 Uncertain 1.2 0.9 1.2 1.5
Home
 Yes 3.3 4.1 4.0 3.9
 New 1.3 1.0 1.0 1.1
 Lived in 1.3 2.2 1.6 1.8
 Uncertain 0.7 0.9 1.4 1.0
Major appliances
 Total plans 29.4 26.9 27.7 28.5
 Refrigerator 4.1 4.2 5.2 4.8
 Washing machine 3.7 3.5 3.0 4.3
 TV Set 7.7 6.7 7.4 6.8
 Vacuum Cleaner 5.5 5.3 4.5 5.0
 Range 2.8 3.2 3.2 2.7
 Clothes dryer 3.4 2.8 2.8 3.3
 Air conditioner 2.2 1.2 1.6 1.6
Carpet 4.5 5.3 6.2 4.5

Vacation Intended Within
 Six Months: Percent

Vacation Intended 43.6 44.7
 Destination
 U.S. 35.6 38.1
 Foreign country 8.6 8.7
 Means of Travel
 Automobile 24.0 25.8
 Airplane 16.4 17.5
 Other 4.2 4.0

 2002
All series seasonally Mar. (p)
adjusted

Composite Series: Index
 Numbers, 1985 = 100

Consumer Confidence Index 110.2
 Present Situation 111.5
 Expectations 109.3

Appraisal of Present
 Situation: Percent

Business Conditions
 Good 20.7
 Bad 18.1
 Normal 61.2
Employment
 Jobs plentiful 20.6
 Jobs not so plentiful 58.6
 Jobs hard to get 20.8

Expectations for Six
 Months Hence: Percent

Business Conditions
 Better 25.0
 Worse 6.3
 Same 68.7
Employment
 More jobs 20.6
 Fewer jobs 13.6
 Same 65.8
Income
 Increase 22.0
 Decrease 8.8
 Same 69.2

Plans to Buy Within
 Six Months: Percent

Automobile
 Yes 6.7
 New 2.5
 Used 3.2
 Uncertain 1.0
Home
 Yes 3.2
 New 0.8
 Lived in 1.3
 Uncertain 1.1
Major appliances
 Total plans 28.3
 Refrigerator 4.3
 Washing machine 3.8
 TV Set 6.1
 Vacuum Cleaner 5.3
 Range 3.3
 Clothes dryer 3.9
 Air conditioner 1.6
Carpet 6.6

Vacation Intended Within
 Six Months: Percent

Vacation Intended
 Destination
 U.S.
 Foreign country
 Means of Travel
 Automobile
 Airplane
 Other

(p) - preliminary

(r) - revised
Expectations for Twelve Months Hence: Percent

 2001
Not Seasonally
Adjusted Mar. Apr. May June July

Inflation Rate
 Average 4.3 4.8 5.1 4.7 4.1

Interest Rates
 Higher 32.6 31.9 31.6 33.7 30.8
 Same 29.4 29.2 33.3 35.7 38.8
 Lower 38.0 38.9 35.1 30.6 30.4

Stock Prices
 Increase 29.0 27.3 33.6 34.0 32.6
 Same 35.3 32.3 36.5 36.8 39.4
 Decrease 35.7 40.4 29.9 29.2 28.0

 2001
Not Seasonally
Adjusted Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.

Inflation Rate
 Average 4.2 4.2 4.5 4.2 4.2

Interest Rates
 Higher 32.5 32.7 23.4 26.4 36.4
 Same 35.8 36.0 30.9 32.6 34.6
 Lower 31.7 31.3 45.7 41.0 29.0

Stock Prices
 Increase 31.1 26.8 34.1 33.5 36.7
 Same 37.4 35.2 29.5 34.5 33.4
 Decrease 31.5 38.0 36.4 32.0 29.9

 2002
Not Seasonally
Adjusted Jan. Feb. (r) Mar. (p)

Inflation Rate
 Average 4.2 4.1 4.1

Interest Rates
 Higher 43.7 46.1 53.3
 Same 36.9 37.0 35.0
 Lower 19.4 16.9 11.7

Stock Prices
 Increase 41.3 37.6 46.5
 Same 34.5 34.2 35.0
 Decrease 24.2 28.2 18.5
Consumer Confidence Index, 1985 = 100

 2001
All series
seasonally adjusted Mar. Apr. May June July

Age of Household Head
 Under 35 124.3 117.2 121.1 128.8 122.2
 35-54 114.3 108.3 116.4 115.7 117.8
 55 and over 114.2 106.3 111.6 116.2 109.6

Household Income
 Under $15,000 92.0 84.9 92.0 92.0 90.9
 $15,000-24,999 107.3 99.0 109.4 102.0 106.0
 $25,000-34,999 113.5 110.8 114.0 118.2 112.0
 $35,000-49,999 118.6 114.3 116.0 124.9 120.6
 $50,000 and over 126.4 118.8 126.7 129.3 127.6

 2001
All series
seasonally adjusted Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.

Age of Household Head
 Under 35 122.8 105.3 91.9 100.2 106.2
 35-54 111.6 98.2 84.5 86.5 96.0
 55 and over 111.1 90.5 82.1 75.4 87.2

Household Income
 Under $15,000 90.1 71.1 71.0 57.1 71.8
 $15,000-24,999 105.7 80.9 74.7 79.4 83.1
 $25,000-34,999 111.9 89.9 83.4 76.3 89.7
 $35,000-49,999 104.0 99.8 85.1 83.1 93.8
 $50,000 and over 128.5 111.0 93.8 99.3 107.6

 2002 3 mos.
All series Percent
seasonally adjusted Jan. Feb. (r) Mar. (p) Change *

Age of Household Head
 Under 35 109.1 104.1 112.4 9.2
 35-54 96.6 94.6 109.9 12.8
 55 and over 92.5 89.1 106.8 17.8

Household Income
 Under $15,000 65.1 74.2 76.8 8.1
 $15,000-24,999 85.5 78.0 94.3 8.7
 $25,000-34,999 91.8 85.5 114.4 16.9
 $35,000-49,999 101.0 95.3 112.2 17.7
 $50,000 and over 114.2 110.1 123.4 15.6
Cosumer Confidence by Region

Seasonally unadjusted
Index numbers: 2001
U.S. Average,
1985 = 100 Feb. Mar. Apr. May

New England
 Consumer Confidence Index 115.4 116.1 99.5 119.1
 Present Situation 189.6 182.6 161.7 180.1
 Expectations 66.0 71.8 58.0 78.5

Middle Atlantic
 Consumer Confidence Index 101.8 96.8 95.9 102.2
 Present Situation 138.5 135.0 129.5 136.1
 Expectations 77.4 71.4 73.5 79.5

East North Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 101.9 112.6 105.2 111.4
 Present Situation 158.9 160.7 149.9 160.3
 Expectations 64.0 80.6 75.4 78.8

West North Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 107.3 119.1 118.3 116.0
 Present Situation 163.8 170.8 161.0 167.9
 Expectations 69.6 84.7 89.8 81.5

South Atlantic
 Consumer Confidence Index 118.3 127.4 116.8 121.9
 Present Situation 174.5 173.9 162.1 159.9
 Expectations 80.9 96.5 86.6 96.5

East South Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 98.1 108.6 106.5 99.7
 Present Situation 138.2 142.4 132.7 130.2
 Expectations 71.4 86.0 89.1 79.4

West South Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 122.4 124.2 120.8 119.2
 Present Situation 165.3 164.2 166.9 162.2
 Expectations 93.8 97.5 90.1 90.5

Mountain
 Consumer Confidence Index 122.3 133.3 110.0 123.4
 Present Situation 170.0 173.9 160.7 172.6
 Expectations 90.4 106.2 76.3 90.5

Pacific
 Consumer Confidence Index 110.1 117.2 105.1 110.8
 Present Situation 165.8 165.3 151.0 154.6
 Expectations 73.0 85.2 74.6 81.6

Seasonally unadjusted
Index numbers: 2001
U.S. Average,
1985 = 100 June July Aug. Sept.

New England
 Consumer Confidence Index 120.0 117.5 124.7 108.8
 Present Situation 180.3 170.8 176.6 149.9
 Expectations 79.8 82.0 90.2 81.5

Middle Atlantic
 Consumer Confidence Index 109.4 101.2 103.9 83.7
 Present Situation 143.3 133.3 133.8 105.8
 Expectations 86.8 79.8 84.1 69.0

East North Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 115.5 108.1 106.6 90.9
 Present Situation 156.2 147.8 137.9 123.4
 Expectations 88.3 81.7 85.7 69.2

West North Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 111.0 113.1 101.3 104.7
 Present Situation 150.7 154.6 145.2 152.9
 Expectations 84.5 85.5 72.0 72.7

South Atlantic
 Consumer Confidence Index 124.1 119.1 120.5 105.2
 Present Situation 164.7 156.4 150.6 139.4
 Expectations 97.1 94.2 100.4 82.4

East South Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 105.9 112.0 101.7 94.7
 Present Situation 136.0 143.9 128.3 126.3
 Expectations 85.8 90.7 84.0 73.6

West South Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 122.9 126.4 123.5 105.0
 Present Situation 153.9 157.3 153.7 130.9
 Expectations 102.3 105.8 103.3 87.8

Mountain
 Consumer Confidence Index 127.0 129.8 114.6 104.8
 Present Situation 169.9 163.8 138.9 144.2
 Expectations 98.5 107.1 98.5 78.5

Pacific
 Consumer Confidence Index 117.6 110.1 108.9 97.6
 Present Situation 162.0 144.6 139.2 124.0
 Expectations 88.1 87.1 88.8 80.1

Seasonally unadjusted
Index numbers: 2001 2002
U.S. Average,
1985 = 100 Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan.

New England
 Consumer Confidence Index 98.6 84.5 103.3 88.5
 Present Situation 150.6 114.2 106.5 85.5
 Expectations 64.0 64.7 101.3 90.5

Middle Atlantic
 Consumer Confidence Index 80.1 81.0 86.3 89.9
 Present Situation 97.2 87.5 91.0 84.3
 Expectations 68.8 76.6 83.3 93.7

East North Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 95.6 85.1 88.1 92.7
 Present Situation 127.3 99.1 100.6 87.6
 Expectations 74.4 75.8 79.7 96.1

West North Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 93.4 95.5 92.3 111.7
 Present Situation 123.4 131.4 116.2 130.7
 Expectations 73.4 71.6 76.3 99.1

South Atlantic
 Consumer Confidence Index 85.9 89.6 100.8 103.7
 Present Situation 107.8 104.9 104.1 98.8
 Expectations 71.3 79.3 98.6 106.9

East South Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 67.4 74.9 73.8 95.5
 Present Situation 91.9 87.4 72.2 106.0
 Expectations 51.1 66.6 74.8 88.5

West South Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 98.5 97.7 107.3 101.2
 Present Situation 124.6 113.0 118.8 100.7
 Expectations 81.0 87.5 99.6 101.6

Mountain
 Consumer Confidence Index 102.3 98.3 97.1 115.3
 Present Situation 126.4 108.5 114.3 112.1
 Expectations 86.3 91.5 85.6 117.5

Pacific
 Consumer Confidence Index 89.3 82.4 89.5 94.7
 Present Situation 107.4 85.8 87.9 74.5
 Expectations 77.3 80.2 90.7 108.2

Seasonally unadjusted 3-MONTH AVG.
Index numbers: 2002 Jan.,Feb.,Mar.
U.S. Average,
1985 = 100 Feb. (r) Mar. (p) 2001 2002

New England
 Consumer Confidence Index 98.3 101.5 114.5 96.1
 Present Situation 89.6 95.3 182.0 90.1
 Expectations 104.1 105.6 69.5 100.1

Middle Atlantic
 Consumer Confidence Index 81.6 93.3 101.9 88.3
 Present Situation 71.2 85.3 144.7 80.3
 Expectations 88.6 98.6 73.3 93.6

East North Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 83.8 103.8 107.1 93.4
 Present Situation 73.9 96.4 162.7 85.9
 Expectations 90.5 108.7 70.1 98.4

West North Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 99.5 106.0 114.1 105.8
 Present Situation 106.9 101.2 168.3 112.9
 Expectations 94.6 109.2 78.0 101.0

South Atlantic
 Consumer Confidence Index 100.8 121.0 124.1 108.5
 Present Situation 96.3 121.3 174.7 105.4
 Expectations 103.9 120.9 90.5 110.6

East South Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 97.0 110.1 109.0 100.9
 Present Situation 103.3 106.6 144.4 105.3
 Expectations 92.7 112.5 85.3 97.9

West South Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 100.8 117.6 124.2 106.5
 Present Situation 102.0 120.0 163.8 107.6
 Expectations 100.0 115.9 97.8 105.8

Mountain
 Consumer Confidence Index 106.6 120.7 125.1 114.2
 Present Situation 93.0 128.5 169.2 111.2
 Expectations 115.6 115.6 95.8 116.2

Pacific
 Consumer Confidence Index 105.4 113.0 114.9 104.4
 Present Situation 94.6 102.4 168.1 90.5
 Expectations 112.7 120.1 79.4 113.7

Seasonally unadjusted
Index numbers:
U.S. Average, Percent
1985 = 100 Change

New England
 Consumer Confidence Index -16.1
 Present Situation -50.5
 Expectations 44.0

Middle Atlantic
 Consumer Confidence Index -13.4
 Present Situation -44.5
 Expectations 27.7

East North Central
 Consumer Confidence Index -12.8
 Present Situation -47.2
 Expectations 40.4

West North Central
 Consumer Confidence Index -7.3
 Present Situation -32.9
 Expectations 29.5

South Atlantic
 Consumer Confidence Index -12.6
 Present Situation -39.6
 Expectations 22.2

East South Central
 Consumer Confidence Index -7.4
 Present Situation -27.1
 Expectations 14.8

West South Central
 Consumer Confidence Index -14.2
 Present Situation -34.3
 Expectations 8.2

Mountain
 Consumer Confidence Index -8.7
 Present Situation -34.3
 Expectations 21.4

Pacific
 Consumer Confidence Index -9.1
 Present Situation -46.2
 Expectations 43.2

* Percent Change: Average of last three months shown as compared with
the same period year. Regional data are not adjusted for seasonal
variation.
Consumer Confidence +15.2 110.2
Present Situation +15.1 111.5
Expectations +15.3 109.3
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Article Details
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Author:Franco, Lynn
Publication:Consumer Confidence Survey
Article Type:Statistical Data Included
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2002
Words:3809
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