Consumer confidence rises in March

An improving job market drove U.S. consumer confidence higher this month after a dip in February, a promising sign for the economy as it heads into spring. The Conference Board's consumer confidence index rose to 101.3 in March from revised 98.8 reading in February. Confidence has risen to the highest levels since before the Great Recession started in December 2007. A year ago, the index stood at 83.9. "The strength of confidence, along with improving labor market conditions, indicates that real consumption growth will accelerate over the coming months," Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, wrote in a research note. The private business group takes...