Consumer Reports, a leading source of data on consumer attitudes, is reporting that consumer attitudes measured across five of its opinion indices are significantly higher than they have been in the past few years.
The publication's March 2011 edition reports that its Consumer Sentiment Index, Trouble Tracker Index, Stress Index, Employment Index, and Past 30-Day Retail Index all suggested consumers were shrugging off uncertain international and economic news.
When the Consumer Sentiment Index moved from 48.7 in February to 50.3 in March, it into positive territory for the time since the publication launched it in October 2008.
The publication said the improvement in consumer sentiments could have been expected since the Trouble Tracker Index, which measures financial difficulties consumers face, dropped from 58.7 in February to 44.8 in March. The Trouble Tracker Index is now at its lowest level since it was first reported in April 2008, the magazine said. Declines were evident for a wide range of reported financial difficulties in the past 30 days.