NEW YORK – April 24, 2018 – The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased in April, following a decline in March.
The Index now stands at 128.7, up from 127.0 last month. The Present Situation Index increased from 158.1 to 159.6, while the Expectations Index that gauges attitudes about the short-term future improved from 106.2 last month to 108.1 this month.
“Consumer confidence increased moderately in April after a decline in March,” says Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board.
“Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved somewhat, with consumers rating both business and labor market conditions quite favorably,” Franco says. “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.”
Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions improved modestly in April. The percentage saying business conditions are “good” decreased from 37.6 percent to 35.2 percent; however, those claiming business conditions are “bad” also decreased, from 13.3 percent to 11.3 percent.
Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was also mixed. The percentage of consumers claiming jobs are “plentiful” declined from 39.5 percent to 38.1 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” also declined from 15.7 percent to 15.2 percent.
Consumers were moderately more positive about the short-term outlook in April. The percentage of consumers who think business conditions will improve over the next six months increased from 23.2 percent to 24.5 percent, while those expecting business conditions will worsen decreased from 10.2 percent to 9.7 percent.
Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was also more positive. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased from 18.9 percent to 19.5 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs remained at 12.5 percent.
Regarding their short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an improvement was virtually unchanged at 23.1 percent, while the proportion expecting a decrease declined from 7.2 percent to 6.8 percent.
The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was April 12.
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