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Consumer confidence dips in April

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The Conference BoardConsumer Confidence Index® declined in April, just a month after topping 100, the Conference Board announced Wednesday.

The April index was at 95.2 (1985=100), down from 101.4 in March. The Present Situation Index decreased from 109.5 last month to 106.8 in April. The Expectations Index declined from 96.0 last month to 87.5 in April.

The monthlyConsumer Confidence Survey®, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for the preliminary results wasApril 17.

"Consumer confidence, which had rebounded in March, gave back all of the gain and more in April," saidLynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. "This month's retreat was prompted by a softening in current conditions, likely sparked by the recent lackluster performance of the labor market, and apprehension about the short-term outlook. The Present Situation Index declined for the third consecutive month. Coupled with waning expectations, there is little to suggest that economic momentum will pick up in the months ahead."

Consumers' appraisal of current-day conditions continued to soften. Those saying business conditions are "good" edged down from 26.7 percent to 26.5 percent. However, those claiming business conditions are "bad" also decreased from 19.4 percent to 18.2 percent.

Consumers were less favorable in their assessment of the job market. Those stating jobs are "plentiful" declined from 21.0 percent to 19.1 percent, while those claiming jobs are "hard to get" rose from 25.5 percent to 26.4 percent.

Consumers' optimism about the short-term outlook, which had rebounded in March, also retreated in April. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months decreased from 16.8 percent to 16.0 percent, while those expecting business conditions to worsen increased from 8.1 percent to 9.4 percent.

Consumers' outlook for the labor market also deteriorated. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead decreased from 15.3 percent to 13.8 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs rose from 13.6 percent to 16.3 percent.

The proportion of consumers expecting growth in their incomes decreased from 18.8 percent to 18.3 percent, while the proportion expecting a decline increased from 9.7 percent to 11.2 percent.

The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world's leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States.www.conference-board.org

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