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Consumer confidence up in April

Consumer confidence rebounded in April after declining the previous month.

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index increased to 129.2 in April, up from 124.2 in the previous month (1985=100). Confidence hasn’t been below 120 since June of 2017, and it hasn’t dipped below 100 since July of 2016.

Meanwhile, the Present Situation Index, which is based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions, jumped from 1630 to 168.3.

“Consumer Confidence partially rebounded in April, following March’s decline, but still remains below levels seen last fall,” said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “The Present Situation Index, which had decreased sharply last month, improved in April, as did consumers’ short-term outlook. Overall, consumers expect the economy to continue growing at a solid pace into the summer months. These strong confidence levels should continue to support consumer spending in the near-term.”

The Conference Board also reported:

• Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved in April. Those stating business conditions are “good” increased from 34.7% to 37.3%, while those saying business conditions are “bad” decreased from 12.4% to 11.7%. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was also more upbeat. Those stating jobs are “plentiful” increased from 42.5% to 46.8%, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” decreased from 13.8% to 13.3%.

• Consumers’ short-term outlook also improved in April. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions will be better six months from now increased from 17.2% to 19.9%, while those expecting business conditions will worsen declined from 10.0% to 9.1%.

• Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was more favorable. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased from 16.8% to 17.2%, while those anticipating fewer jobs decreased from 14.3% to 13.2%. Regarding their short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an improvement was virtually unchanged at 21.5%, while the proportion expecting a decrease declined, from 7.4% to 7.0%.
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