Consumers lost some confidence last month, according to the Conference Board's April Consumer Confidence Index released today.
After clocking in at a revised 83.9 reading for March, the index fell 1.9% to 82.3 for April. Analysts had expected a slump, but their 83.0 prediction proved overly optimistic. The index uses 1985 as its 100-point benchmark.
"Consumer confidence declined slightly in April, as consumers assessed current business and labor market conditions less favorably than in March," said Conference Board Director of Economic Indicators Lynn Franco in a statement today. "However, their expectations regarding the short-term outlook for the economy and labor market held steady. Thus, while sentiment regarding current conditions may have slipped a bit, consumers do not foresee the economy, or the labor market, losing the momentum that has been building up over the past several months."
The index is comprised of responses from a random sample of consumers. In this latest report, 21.8% of those surveyed believe business conditions are "good," while 24.4% believe business to be bad. Only 12.9% believe jobs are plentiful, compared to a sizable 32.5% stating jobs are "hard to get."
Looking ahead, 17.4% of those surveyed expect business conditions to improve over the next six months, compared to 10.3% anticipating tougher times.
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