Consumers cheer

New York — The speedy resolution of the war in Iraq clearly cheered Americans and drove consumer confidence levels surging during March by the biggest one-month gain since the end of the Persian Gulf War in 1991.

Reversing months of steady and steep declines, the bellwether Consumer Confidence Index compiled by The Conference Board jumped up by 31.9 percent to a level of 81.0, the highest reading since last November.

"The swift outcome in the Middle East has helped quell consumers' short-term concerns," said Lynn Franco, director of the business think tank's Consumer Research Center.

Strikingly, Franco noted, consumers now feel better about both current and future conditions, especially about the job market. And that, she said, could trigger a rebound in consumer spending.

"While an increase of this magnitude occurred after the Persian Gulf War in 1991, this post-war surge differs in that both components of the Index posted gains." Specifically, she said, "the increase in the Present Situation Index, especially in labor market conditions, may very will signal a turnaround in confidence and a more favorable outlook for consumer spending."

Home & Textiles Today Staff | News & Commentary

 Home Textiles Today is the market-leading brand covering the home and textiles markets, offering a comprehensive package of print and online products. Home & Textiles Today provides industry news, product trends and introductions, exclusive industry research, consumer data, store operations solutions, trade show news and much more.

Featured Video

  • Live From New York: Fashion Comes Across the Pond

    Camera Icon More Videos

Subscribe to
Home & Textiles Today eDaily
Receive the news you need to know about the trends in the industry delivered right to your inbox.


HTT Cover October 2017

See the October 2017 issue of Home & Textiles Today. In this issue, we look at the Top 25 Online Retailers.  H&TT's exclusive annual ranking of the biggest online sellers of home textiles finds that while pure play etailers continue to fly, bricks & clicks are digging into omnichannel. See details!