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Consumer confidence slips lower in April

Americans less optimistic about the future

Americans waivered in their optimism as they were less confident in their future expectations, according to the Consumer Confidence Survey conducted by The Conference Board by Nielsen, a provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch.

The indexed slipped to 120.3, down from 124.9 in March. The Present Situation Index decreased from 143.9 in March to 140.6 while the Expectations Index decreased monthly from 112.3 to 106.7 in April.

In 1985, the index was set to 100, representing the index's benchmark. This value is adjusted monthly based on results of a household survey of consumers' opinions on current conditions and future economic expectations. Opinions on current conditions make up 40% of the index, while expectations of future conditions make up 60%.

“Consumer confidence declined in April after increasing sharply over the past two months, but still remains at strong levels,” said Lynn Franco, The Conference Board director of economic indicators. “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,” Franco said. “Despite April’s decline, consumers remain confident that the economy will continue to expand in the months ahead.”

Those saying business conditions are good decreased from 32.4% in March to 30.2% in April and those saying business conditions are bad increased slightly from 13.1% to 13.8%. Those who said jobs are plentiful decreased from 31.8% to 30.8% during the month, while those who claimed jobs are hard to find remained unchanged at 19.1%.

Consumers were also less optimistic about the short-term outlook as those who are expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months decreased from 26.9% to 24.8% in April and those expecting business conditions to worsen rose from 8.5% to 10.9%.

Americans who said they are expecting more jobs in the months ahead decreased from 23.8% in March to 23%, while those anticipating fewer jobs increased from 12.7% to 13.1%. Consumers who expect their incomes to increase dropped from 22.5% to 19.3% and those who are expecting a decrease held steady at 7.5%.

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