Consumer confidence falls more than expected

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Consumer confidence dropped way more than expected.

The latest reading of consumer confidence from The Conference Board came in at 94.2.

Economists were expecting the headline index to fall slightly to 95.8 in April, down from the previous month’s 96.2.

“Consumer confidence continued on its sideways path, posting a slight decline in April, following a modest gain in March,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board.

“Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved, suggesting no slowing in economic growth. However, their expectations regarding the short-term have moderated, suggesting they do not foresee any pickup in momentum.”

Most notably, consumers were feeling less optimistic about the short-term outlook and the labour market. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead decreased slightly 12.2 % from 13.0%, and those anticipating fewer jobs edged up to 17.2% from 16.3%.

Furthermore, according to the survey, consumers who think business conditions are “good” declined slightly to 23.2% from 24.9%. However, the percentage of those saying that conditions are “bad” also dropped, to 18.1% from 19.2%.

Consumers’ thoughts on the labour market were also mixed. The percentage of those claiming jobs were “plentiful” dropped to 24.1% from 25.4%. This follow last month’s report, which showed that consumers surveyed who said jobs are “plentiful” rose to the highest level since September 2007.

But, on the positive side, the percentage of those who said jobs are “hard to get” also fell — down to 22.7% from 25.2%.

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