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Consumer confidence slips in April


April's consumer confidence metric didn't live up to the new benchmark established in March, when consumer confidence reached a 16-year high.

This month, the Index declined to 120.3 from 124.9 in March.

“Consumer confidence declined in April after increasing sharply over the past two months, but still remains at strong levels,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers assessed current business conditions and, to a lesser extent, the labor market less favorably than in March. Looking ahead, consumers were somewhat less optimistic about the short-term outlook for business conditions, employment and income prospects. Despite April’s decline, consumers remain confident that the economy will continue to expand in the months ahead.”

The Present Situation Index also decreased from 143.9 to 140.6. Consumers saying business conditions are “good” declined from 32.4% to 30.2%, while those saying business conditions are “bad” increased slightly, from 13.1% to 13.8%. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was moderately less favorable. Those stating jobs are “plentiful” declined from 31.8% to 30.8%, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” was virtually unchanged at 19.1%.

Meanwhile, the Expectations Index declined from 112.3 last month to 106.7. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months decreased from 26.9% to 24.8%, while those expecting business conditions to worsen rose from 8.5% to 10.9%. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead also declined from 23.8% to 23.0%, while those anticipating fewer jobs increased from 12.7% to 13.1%. The percentage of consumers expecting their incomes to increase declined from 22.5% to 19.3%, while the proportion expecting a decrease held steady at 7.5%.
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