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Consumer confidence takes slight dip for April

Consumer confidence fell for the second-straight month in April, according to The Conference Board, as people grew more pessimistic about economic expectations.

The index fell to 69.2 from a downwardly revised 69.5 for March. An initial report pegged last month’s reading at 70.2 after the index reached a year-high in February.

The reading for April fell below analysts’ consensus of 69.5, according to Econoday. The data and research firm benchmarks the overall index at 100 in 1985.

A decline in short-term outlook from consumers drove the dip in confidence, according to Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board’s consumer research. More people expected business conditions to worsen in the next six months, up to 13.5% from 11.8% in March.

“Overall, consumers are more upbeat about the state of the economy, but they remain cautiously optimistic,” Franco said in a news release.

More survey respondents said conditions are good, up to 15.3% in April from 14.3% in March. But more consumers, 33.5% this month, still said the economic climate is bad.

Another measure of consumer sentiment, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index, fell slightly in a preliminary April report. A final measure of that index comes out Friday.

But neither survey reflected a recent decline in stock prices, according Amna Asaf, an economist at Capital Economics. The S&P 500 is down more than 3% from its post-recession high in early April, as of midday Tuesday.

That, Asaf said, tends to drive consumer confidence, and could show up in May.


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