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Consumer Confidence Falls for March Amid Heated Inflation Numbers

For the month of March, Consumer Confidence fell to 104.7, close to the expected 104.8 on the index. This index measures how confident US consumers feel about the economy, indicating how likely they are to make purchases or buy stocks.

US inflation is expected to come out mixed in February

Consumers have pessimism about the future, according to the chief economist Dana Peterson of The Conference Board. Consumer confidence did not decrease in all categories equally. Older consumers have more confidence in the economy, while those under the age of 55 had less confidence.

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What really brothers consumers are the higher than normal prices. Inflation is still high, up 3.19% for March and higher than it was the previous month. That upward trend is bothering consumers and the Federal Reserve. That is why the Fed has refused to lower interest rates for now, worried that it will negatively affect inflation.

While many inflation indicators are worrying, some of them are a bit more positive. Unemployment claims are down in most parts of the United States. Last week, jobless claims dropped by 2,000, with unemployment down in Massachusetts and Oregon but up in Missouri.

Elevated Prices Are Hurting Consumers

Gas prices are still rising, and they are rising faster than usual. That is driving inflation, as gas is a common indicator to determine what other prices should be. Since everyone needs gas, as that highly visible indicator increases, the price of goods and services will increase to match.

Not all prices are getting worse in the US, though. The housing market is cooling as rates decrease and it becomes more of a buyers’ market. Orders for big ticket items increased by 1.4% in March, according to the Durable Goods Orders report. That release showed that consumers are less hesitant to buy kitchen appliances and other big price items that they would have waited on buying during the worst periods of inflation. It is difficult to get consumers to spend that kind of money when they don’t know where their next paycheck is coming from.

As joblessness decreases, though, more and more Americans have steady work. Although not every economic indicator is looking positive, enough of them are that there is hope that inflation will improve in the near future.

 

 

 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR See More
Timothy St. John
Timothy St. John
Financial Writer - European & US Desks
Timothy St John is a seasoned financial analyst and writer, catering to the dynamic landscapes of the US and European markets. Boasting over a decade of extensive freelance writing experience, he has made significant contributions to reputable platforms such as Yahoo!Finance, business.com: Expert Business Advice, Tips, and Resources - Business.com, and numerous others. Timothy's expertise lies in in-depth research and comprehensive coverage of stock and cryptocurrency movements, coupled with a keen understanding of the economic factors influencing currency dynamics. Timothy majored in English at East Tennessee State University, and you can find him on LinkedIn.
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