March CPI and Consumer Confidence Stats Deliver Signs of Improvement
Recent news released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and The Conference Board show signs of gradual improvement in the nation’s Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) and Consumer Confidence Index. CPI-U rose a moderate 0.1 percent in March on a seasonally adjusted basis in contrast to the steeper 0.4 percent in February; and overall confidence among consumers also improved slightly during the month according to The Conference Board’s survey results compiled about 10 days after U.S. regulators’ takeover of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. The Consumer Confidence Index rose from 103.4 in February to 104.2 (1985=100) in March. The Present Situation Index [based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions] decreased from 153.0 to 151.1; and although Expectations Index [based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions] increased from February’s 70.4 index to 73.0 (1985=100) in March, it has been below 80 for 12 of the last 13 months, which often signals a recession within the next year.