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Consumer market confidence improves markedly


Consumer confidence is on the rise.

More consumers are gaining confidence in the current financial climate, and figures are significantly improved from the past couple of years. This could help the residential housing market, as consumers may be more willing to purchase properties and take out mortgages.

Overall consumer sentiment rose to 50.7 in the Consumer Reports Index during March. This was an improvement from the previous month's level of 48.9. This helped the figure back into positive territory, as any number 50 or higher denotes more consumers feel the situation is improving.

"The long view shows the financial hardship faced by Americans has declined sharply from the dire days of two years ago," said Ed Farrell, director of consumer insight at the Consumer Reports National Research Center. "But, that has yet to translate into robust levels of retail spending for 2013."

The housing market already experienced positive conditions in recent months. Existing-home sales rose more than 9 percent in January to a rate of 4.92 million in January, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors. This was also 0.4 percent higher than December's rate of 4.9 million.

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