Consumer confidence drops in April

Consumer confidence slipped in April more than economists expected.

Consumer confidence slipped in April more than economists expected as the public proved to be less optimistic about the economy in the short term than they were last month.

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index now stands at 94.2, down from 96.1 in March. The median forecast of economists was 95.8.

“Consumer confidence continued on its sideways path, posting a slight decline in April, following a modest gain in March,” The Conference Board director of economic indicators Lynn Franco said in a statement.

“Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved, suggesting no slowing in economic growth. However, their expectations regarding the short-term have moderated, suggesting they do not foresee any pickup in momentum.”

Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions improved somewhat in April. Those who said business conditions are “good” decreased from 24.9 percent to 23.2 percent. However, those who said business conditions are “bad” also declined from 19.2 percent to 18.1 percent.

Consumers’ appraisal of the labor market was also mixed. Those who said jobs are “plentiful” decreased from 25.4 percent to 24.1 percent; however, those who said jobs are “hard to get” also declined from 25.2 percent to 22.7 percent.

Consumers were less optimistic about their short-term outlook in April than last month. The percentage of consumers who expect business conditions to improve during the next six months decreased from 14.7 percent to 13.4 percent and those who expect business conditions to worsen rose to 11 percent from 9.5 percent.

Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was also less favorable. Those who anticipate more jobs in the months ahead decreased slightly from 13 percent to 12.2 percent; those who anticipate fewer jobs edged up from 16.3 percent to 17.2 percent.

The proportion of consumers who expect their income to increase declined from 16.9 percent to 15.9 percent; however, the proportion that expect a reduction in income also declined, from 12.3 percent to 11.2 percent.