The consumer confidence index rose to 52.5 in March, exceeding economists’ expectations and rebounding from poor figures in February, the Conference Board reported yesterday.

The February index was revised slightly higher to 46.4 from the 46.0 initially reported.

Economists expected the index would increase to 50.0, according to the median estimate from Thomson Reuters.

The present situation index increased to 26.0 in March and was revised higher to 21.7 from 19.4 in February. The expectations index increased to 70.2 from a downwardly revised 62.9 in February from the 63.8 initially reported.

“Consumer confidence, which had declined sharply in February, managed to recoup most of the loss in March,” Lynn Franco, director of the board’s consumer research center, said in a statement.

“However, despite this month’s increase, consumers continued to express concern about current business and labor market conditions. And their outlook for the next six months is still rather pessimistic,” Franco said. “Overall, consumer confidence levels have not changed significantly since last spring.”

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