United States: April drop in consumer confidence signals caution
April 26, 2016
Consumer confidence fell in April, reversing the increase registered in March. The result signals caution among American consumers, who could potentially restrict household spending and growth in the broader economy in the coming months. The seasonally-adjusted consumer confidence index, elaborated by the Conference Board, fell to 94.2 in March from a downwardly revised 96.1 in February (previously reported: 96.2). The result came in also below the 96.0 the markets had expected.
The sharper-than-expected fall in confidence reflected a notorious drop in consumers’ assessment regarding the short-term economic outlook. Conversely, consumers’ assessment of the present economic situation improved over the previous month. According to the Conference Board, “consumer confidence continued on its sideways path, posting a slight decline in April, following a modest gain in March.” Looking at the details, the Board added that, “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.”
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist