March 28, 2019
Consumer confidence in California ran counter to the downward trend nationally, according to The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index. In March, the national index declined to 124.1 from 131.4 in February.
Yet, Californian’s optimism boosted the March index to a record 138.2, up from 107.1 in February and 130.3 a year ago. The surge is the largest one-month increase since July 2012 and marks the Conference board’s highest reading since 2007.
People in California are feeling good about their “present situation,” with the statewide index reaching 177.6 for March compared to 147.9 in February and 158.6 a year ago. Expectations for the future in California are looking up too. The board reports its expectations index in the state reached a record 111.9 for March, which is up sharply from February’s 80, though roughly flat to a year ago when it was 111.4.
The Conference Board’s Lynn Franco says nationally, “Confidence has been somewhat volatile over the past few months, as consumers have had to weather volatility in the financial markets, a partial government shutdown and a very weak February jobs report. Despite these dynamics, consumers remain confident that the economy will continue expanding in the near term. However, the overall trend in confidence has been softening since last summer, pointing to a moderation in economic growth.”
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