The consumer confidence index declined again in April, dropping to 62.3 from an upwardly revised 65.9 last month, the Conference Board said yesterday.
The March index reading was originally reported as 64.5.
Economists polled by IFR Markets predicted the index would slip to 62.0.
The present situation index fell to 80.7 from an upwardly revised 90.6, originally reported as 89.2, while the expectations index increased to 50.1 from an upwardly revised 49.4 last month, originally reported as 47.9.
“This month’s decline in consumer confidence was the result of yet another sharp decline in the present situation index,” said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board’s consumer research center. “This continued weakening suggests that not only has the feeble level of growth in the first quarter spilled over into the second quarter, but that economic conditions may have slowed even further. And, not only are lackluster business and job conditions eroding confidence, but rising gasoline prices are undoubtedly heightening concerns.”
“Consumers’ inflation expectations continue to rise and this measure now matches the all-time high reached in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina,” Franco added. “The percentage of respondents intending to take a vacation over the next six months has fallen to a 30-year low, another sign of consumers turning more cost-conscious. Looking ahead, consumers’ outlook for the economy, the job market, and their income prospects remain quite pessimistic and little changed from last month. Or, in other words, the glass remains half-empty.”