Improved household finances, Respondents feel US economy is improving, Gas prices at pumps edged lower

March 17, 2017

Improved household finances lifted consumers spirits in March as incomes and wealth were at the strongest levels in a decade. The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index rose to 97.6 this month, up from 96.3 in February and above the 96.8 expected. The 97.6 is down from the 13-year high of 98.5 hit in January. The report went on to read that “The overall level of consumer sentiment remained quite favorable in early March due to renewed strength in current economic conditions as well as the extraordinary influence of partisanship on economic prospects.”

A recent survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors® revealed that respondents feel that the U.S. economy is improving. The survey said that 62% of respondents said they feel the economy in improving, while 72% said that now is a good time to purchase a home. In addition, 69% of those surveyed said it is a good time to sell a home. Rounding out the report, 60% said that home prices in their communities have gone up in the past 12 months.

Gas prices at the pumps edged lower in the past few weeks, though well above prices seen last year this time. Motor club AAA reports that given high oil supplies and a well supplied gasoline market, prices could continue to move lower in the coming weeks. The national average price for a regular gallon of gasoline is at $2.29. The all-time high was hit back July 17, 2008 when the price surged to $4.11 a gallon, while last year the price was $1.96.