Consumer confidence rebounded in March, rising more than expected, providing a boost to financial markets on Tuesday.
After dropping 10 points to 46.5 in February, consumer confidence rose to 52.5 in March, but still lower than November and December and are nearly unchanged from spring 2009, according to The Conference Board's report.
The unstable job market is providing the biggest hurdle, leaving consumers apprehensive about about current and future conditions, although small improvements were reported. Tuesday's report showed a decline that those saying jobs are "hard to get" from 47.3 percent to 45.8 percent while those saying jobs are "plentiful" increased to 4.4 percent from 4 percent in the past month.
The good news, the payroll forecast for Friday is expected to reflect the addition of 200,000 new jobs in March.
Nearly 22 percent of consumers are fewer jobs in the coming months, a decrease from 24.7 percent while those expecting more jobs increased to 14.6 percent from 13.2 percent.