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United States Consumer Confidence April 2019

United States: Consumer confidence increases in April on broad-based gains

The Conference Board’s monthly consumer confidence index rose from a revised 124.2 in March (previously reported: 124.1) to 129.2 in April, exceeding market expectations of 127.1. The index now lies further above the 100-point threshold that separates consumer optimism from pessimism.

The improvement in the headline index this month was broad-based, thanks to consumer’s renewed optimism regarding both the present situation and the near-term outlook. Looking at the present situation index, consumers were more upbeat about current business conditions, as well as the labor market situation. The labor differential—the difference between the percentage of respondents who state that jobs are plentiful and those who say that jobs are hard to get—increased from 28.7 in March to 33.5 in April. Turning to future expectations, consumers were more optimistic about both business conditions in the next six months and the labor market outlook. Respondents’ sentiment regarding their own income prospects meanwhile increased as well, but only marginally.

Commenting on this month’s reading, Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, noted:

“Consumer Confidence partially rebounded in April, following March’s decline, but still remains below levels seen last Fall […] Overall, consumers expect the economy to continue growing at a solid pace into the summer months. These strong confidence levels should continue to support consumer spending in the near-term”.

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