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Consumer confidence rebounds in sign of optimism

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. consumer confidence rebounded in March, providing a further sign that the economy's prospects should brighten with warmer weather.

The Conference Board says its confidence index rose to 82.3 in March from a February reading of 78.3. It marked the first time the index has been above the 82 level since last June, when it stood at 82.1.

Conference Board economist Lynn Franco says consumers are moderately more upbeat about future job prospects and the overall economy, though less optimistic about income growth.

Consumer confidence is closely watched because consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.

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