Conference Board April consumer confidence up; worries of income loss dips

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The consumer confidence index increased to 128.7 in April from a revised 127.0 last month, The Conference Board reported Tuesday.

The March index was originally reported as 127.7.

Economists polled by IFR Markets predicted a 126.0 reading for the index.

The present situation index grew to 159.6 from a revised 158.1, first reported as 159.9, while the expectations index rose to 108.1 from an unrevised 106.2.

“Consumer confidence increased moderately in April after a decline in March,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators for The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved somewhat, with consumers rating both business and labor market conditions quite favorably. Consumers’ short-term expectations also improved, with the percent of consumers expecting their incomes to decline over the coming months reaching its lowest level since December 2000 (6.0 percent). Overall, confidence levels remain strong and suggest that the economy will continue expanding at a solid pace in the months ahead.”

Business conditions were called “good” by 35.2% of respondents in April, off from 37.6% of respondents in March. Those saying conditions are “bad” fell to 11.3% from 13.3%.

The percentage of consumers expecting a pickup in business conditions in the next half year rose to 24.5% from 23.2%, while 9.7% said they expect conditions to worsen, down from 10.2% in the prior month.

On the jobs front, those who believe jobs are “plentiful” decreased to 38.1% from 39.5% in last month, while the number saying jobs are “hard to get” slid to 15.2% from 15.7%. The respondents who see fewer jobs becoming available in a half year, remained to 12.5%. Those expecting more jobs to become available grew to 19.5% from 18.9%, The Conference Board reported.

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

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