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Consumer confidence drops slightly, remains at high levels

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The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index dropped more than three points in April after increasing sharply over the past two months. Lynn Franco, the board’s director of economic indicators, said consumer confidence remains at high levels.

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.

Those saying business conditions are good declined from 32.4 percent to 30.2 percent, while those saying business conditions are bad increased slightly, from 13.1 percent to 13.8 percent.
Those stating jobs are plentiful declined from 31.8 percent to 30.8 percent, while those claiming jobs are hard to get was virtually unchanged at 19.1 percent.

The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months decreased from 26.9 percent to 24.8 percent, while those expecting business conditions to worsen rose from 8.5 percent to 10.9 percent.

Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was also less upbeat. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead declined from 23.8 percent to 23 percent. The percentage of consumers expecting their incomes to increase declined from 22.5 percent to 19.3 percent, while the proportion expecting a decrease held steady at 7.5 percent.

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