United States consumer confidence unexpectedly increased in March, but Americans are becoming a bit anxious about the labour market, a survey showed on Tuesday.
The Conference Board said that its consumer confidence index rose to 104.2 this month from a reading of 103.4 in February.
The cut-off date for the survey was 20 March, about 10 days after the failure of two regional banks.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecasted the index at 101.0.
"The gain reflects an improved outlook for consumers under 55 years of age and for households earning $50,000 and over," said Ataman Ozyildirim, senior director of Economics at The Conference Board.
The share of consumers viewing jobs as 'plentiful' fell, while the proportion saying jobs were 'not so plentiful' rose.
Consumers' 12-month inflation expectations rose to 6.3% from 6.2% last month.
US Consumer Prices
US consumer prices increased in February amid sticky rental housing costs, but economists are divided on whether rising inflation will be enough to push the Federal Reserve (Fed) to hike interest rates again next week after the failure of two regional banks, research showed.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.4% last month after accelerating 0.5% in January, the Labor Department said on Tuesday.
That lowered the year-on-year increase in the CPI to 6.0% in February, the smallest annual gain since September 2021.
The CPI rose 6.4% in the 12 months through January.