Consumer confidence in the U.S. was virtually unchanged in the month of April, according to a report released by the Conference Board on Tuesday, with the consumer confidence index coming in just below economist estimates.
The report showed that the consumer confidence index edged down to 69.2 in April from a downwardly revised 69.5 in March. Economists had expected the index to slip to 69.7 from the 70.2 originally reported for the previous month.
Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center, said, "As was the case last month, the slight dip was prompted by a moderation in consumers' short-term outlook, while their assessment of current conditions continued to improve."
"Overall, consumers are more upbeat about the state of the economy, but they remain cautiously optimistic," she added.
The Conference Board said its present situation index rose to 51.4 in April from 49.9 in March, as those claiming business conditions are "good" increased to 15.3 percent from 14.3 percent. On the other hand, consumers saying business conditions are "bad" edged up to 33.5 percent from 33.2 percent.
Consumers' appraisal of the job market remained mixed, the Conference Board said, with those saying jobs are "hard to get" falling to 37.5 percent from 40.7 percent, while those saying jobs are "plentiful" dropped to 8.4 percent from 9.0 percent.
Meanwhile, the report showed that the expectations index dipped to 81.1 in April from 82.5 in March. The drop suggested that consumers are slightly less optimistic about the short-term outlook.
Consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months fell to 18.8 percent from 19.3 percent, while those expecting business conditions to worsen rose to 14.2 percent from 13.7 percent.
Additionally, those expecting more jobs in the months ahead fell to 16.9 percent from 17.4 percent, although those expecting fewer jobs also slipped to 18.0 percent from 18.5 percent.
The Conference Board said consumers expecting an increase in their incomes declined to 14.0 percent from 15.5 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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