United States: Consumer confidence edges down in April, sentiment remains buoyant
April 25, 2017
The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index took a dip in April as consumers digested news of the setback in Congress regarding the health care reform. The index fell from a revised 124.9 in March (previously reported: 125.6)—an over 16-year high—to 120.3 in April, well below market expectations of a softer decrease to 123.1. Nevertheless, the index remains firmly above the 100-point threshold that separates optimism from pessimism among U.S. consumers, suggesting some degree of resilience to policy disappointments.
According to the Conference Board, April’s figure reflected less upbeat consumers’ views of both present and future economic conditions. Both sub-indices, however, remain at high levels. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market also dipped in April, with the most substantial decline in confidence seen among those who see their income rising in the future. This suggests a peak in sentiment regarding job market developments, further underscored by a deterioration in the labor differential—the difference between the percentage of respondents that state that jobs are plentiful and those that say they are hard to get.
Author: David Ampudia, Economist