The consumer confidence index decreased to 120.3 in April from a revised 124.9 last month, The Conference Board reported Tuesday.

The March index was originally reported as 125.6.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters predicted a 122.9 reading for the index.

The present situation index fell to 140.6 from a revised 143.9, first reported as 143.1, while the expectations index dropped to 106.7 from a revised 112.3, first reported as 113.8.

“Consumer confidence declined in April after increasing sharply over the past two months, but still remains at strong levels,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators for The Conference Board.

Lynn Franco of The Conference Board.
Lynn Franco of The Conference Board.

“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. Despite April’s decline, consumers remain confident that the economy will continue to expand in the months ahead,” she said.

Business conditions were called “good” by 30.2% of respondents in April, off from 32.4% of respondents in March. Those saying conditions are “bad” grew to 13.8% from 13.1%.

The percentage of consumers expecting a pickup in business conditions in the next half year fell to 24.8% from 26.9%, while 10.9% said they expect conditions to worsen, up from 8.5% in the prior month.

On the jobs front, those who believe jobs are “plentiful” declined to 30.8% in April from 31.8% in March, while the number saying jobs are “hard to get” was basically flat at 19.1%. The respondents who see fewer jobs becoming available in a half year, rose to 13.1% from 12.7%. Those expecting more jobs to become available fell to 23.0% from 23.8%, The Conference Board reported.

The consumer confidence survey is based on a probability design random sample by the Nielsen Company.

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