NEW YORK--The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index, Present Situation Index and Expectations Index rose in March.

The Consumer Confidence Index rose to 110.2, up from 95 in February. The Present Situation Index rose from 96.4 to 111.5. The Expectations Index increased from 94 to 109.3.

The Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households. The monthly survey is conducted for The Conference Board by NFO WorldGroup, a member of The Interpublic Group of Companies.

Consumers' appraisal of current conditions improved significantly in March. Those rating business conditions as "good" increased from 17.6% to 20.7%. Consumers rating current business conditions as "bad" dropped from 22.8% to 18.1%.

Consumers reporting jobs were "plentiful" rose from 18.2% to 20.6%. Those claiming jobs were "hard to get" fell from 22.6% to 20.8%.

Consumers' expectations for the next six months are also more upbeat. Those expecting an improvement in business conditions increased from 22.3% to 25%. Those anticipating conditions to worsen declined from 11.1% to 6.3%.

Nearly 21% of all consumers expect more jobs to become available over the next six months. Those expecting fewer jobs fell from 19.5% to 13.6%. About 22% expect their incomes to increase, up from 20.5% in February.