NEW YORK - The consumer confidence index dipped to 69.2 in April from a downwardly revised 69.5 last month, The Conference Board reported Tuesday.
The March index was originally reported as 70.2.
The present situation index rose to 51.4 from a downwardly revised 49.9, originally reported as 51.0, while the expectations index fell to 81.1 from a downwardly revised 82.5, originally reported as 83.0.
“Consumer confidence was virtually unchanged in April, following a modest decline in March,” said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board's Consumer Research Center. “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.”
Business conditions were called “good” by 15.3% of respondents in March, up from 14.3% in March. Those saying conditions are “bad” rose to 33.5% from 33.2%.
The percentage of consumers expecting a pickup in business conditions in the next half year slid to 18.8% from 19.3%, while 14.2% said they expect conditions to worsen, up from 13.7% the prior month.
On the jobs front, those who believe jobs are “plentiful” fell to 8.4% in April from 9.0% in March, while the number saying jobs are “hard to get” decreased to 37.5% this survey from 40.7%. The respondents who see fewer jobs becoming available in a half year, declined to 18.0% from 18.5%. Those expecting more jobs to become available slipped to 16.9% from 17.4%, The Conference Board reported.
Income expectations were mixed, with 14.0% of consumers anticipating an increase in their income in the next six months, off from the prior month's 15.5%, while 14.0% expect their income to decrease, down from 14.6% in the prior month’s survey.
The number of consumers who expected to buy a home in the next six months fell to 4.4% from 4.9%, while the number of respondents planning to buy a car decreased to 9.3% from 12.3%. Fewer consumers than last month said they plan to buy a major appliance in the next six months (41.6% vs. 48.4%).
Fewer respondents than last month (43.3% vs. 44.2%) expect to take a vacation in the next six months, but more said they would stay in the U.S. rather than leave the country. Cars rather than airplanes were the preferred mode of travel, by a 22.7%-21.3% margin.
The consumer confidence survey is based on a probability design random sample by the Nielsen Company.