Consumer Confidence Stumbles in April on Uncertain Economic Outlook
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The Conference Board reports that consumers' appraisal of current conditions improved somewhat in April, while their appraisal of the labor market was mixed

April 26, 2016

After waning slightly in February, then rebounding modestly last month, U.S. consumer confidence has once again taken a minor dip.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index now stands at 94.2, down from the 96.1 seen in March. The Index began 2016 with a January reading of 97.8.

The Conference Board reports that consumers' appraisal of current conditions improved somewhat in April. Those saying business conditions are "good" decreased from 24.9 percent to 23.2 percent. However, those saying business conditions are "bad" also declined, from 19.2 percent to 18.1 percent.

Consumers' appraisal of the labor market was also mixed. Those claiming jobs are "plentiful" decreased from 25.4 percent to 24.1 percent, however those claiming jobs are "hard to get" also declined from 25.2 percent to 22.7 percent.

Consumers were less optimistic about the short-term outlook. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months decreased from 14.7 percent to 13.4 percent, while those expecting business conditions to worsen rose to 11.0 percent from 9.5 percent.

Consumers' outlook for the labor market was also less favorable. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead decreased slightly from 13.0 percent to 12.2 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs edged up from 16.3 percent to 17.2 percent.

"Consumer confidence continued on its sideways path, posting a slight decline in April, following a modest gain in March," said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. "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."

The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch.

Source: The Conference Board

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