(Washington) US consumer confidence improved more than expected in early March, reaching its highest level in a year thanks to the COVID-19 vaccination campaign in full swing in the US.
Consumers also expected approval of the stimulus package that was finally approved on Wednesday and signed by President Joe Biden on Thursday.
The index rose to 83 points from 76.8 in February, when confidence deteriorated, according to preliminary estimates from the University of Michigan survey released on Friday.
This is better than analysts’ estimates, who were counting 80 points.
The economic gauge and forecast components are improving significantly, as Americans anticipate the arrival of new government aid.
White House Economic Adviser Brian Daisy said Thursday that of all the measures totaling $ 1900 billion, checks worth $ 1,400 per person will be sent early “this month.”
Millions of families will benefit from it. This fiscal increase should allow the most vulnerable households to pay their bills and the middle classes to increase consumer spending.
“Confidence has improved in all socio-economic groups and in all regions,” said Richard Curtin, the economist responsible for the survey, noting that the improvement was particularly strong for more modest households (those in the “bottom third” on the scale Income.) As well as among consumers 55 years of age and over.
The economist adds that expectations regarding the outlook for the economy in the next six months “have improved significantly,” as the component reached 77.5 points, compared to 70.7 points at the end of February.
“Overall, the data points to strong growth in consumer spending over the next year, with the highest increases in services, including travel and restaurants, and the lowest levels for vehicles and homes.”
The services sector has suffered the most in a year from restrictive measures imposed to contain the spread of the new Coronavirus.
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