Consumer confidence rebounded slightly in March, but still held near historic lows as consumers remained uneasy about the economy and employment.
The New York-based business research group Conference Board reports its Consumer Confidence Index rose to 26 in March, from a revised reading of 25.3 in February.
That reading last month was the lowest since the index was created in 1967. On a more positive note, however, the March increase marks the index’s first rise since November.
"Apprehension about the outlook for the economy, the labor market and earnings continues to weigh heavily on consumers' attitudes," says Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board's consumer research center.
The index is based on a survey of 5000 U.S. households. Among respondents, the top concern remains employment, with those saying jobs are "hard to get" increasing to 48.7 percent from 46.9 percent in February.
Meanwhile, the number of consumers expecting business conditions to worsen over the next six months edged down to 39.1 percent in March from 40.7 percent the previous month. The number of people expecting a scarcity of jobs in the near future also declined. Most economists say consumers will remain wary of spending until the job market picks up.