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US Consumer Confidence Still Strong despite Slight Drop

In: Finance, Forex

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® decreased slightly in April, after an increase in March. The Index now stands at 107.3 (1985=100), down from 107.6 in March.

The Present Situation Index, based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions, fell to 152.6 from 153.8 last month. However, the Expectations Index based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions ticked up to 77.2 from 76.7.

The Present Situation Index declined, but remains quite high, suggesting the economy continued to expand in early Q2. Expectations, while still weak, did not deteriorate further amid high prices, especially at the gas pump, and the war in Ukraine. Vacation intentions cooled but intentions to buy big-ticket items like automobiles and many appliances rose somewhat.

Purchasing intentions are down overall from recent levels as interest rates have begun rising. Meanwhile, concerns about inflation retreated from an all-time high in March but remained elevated. Looking ahead, inflation and the war in Ukraine will continue to pose downside risks to confidence and may further curb consumer spending this year.”

Consumers’ appraisal of current business conditions was mixed in April with 20.8% of consumers said business conditions were “good,” up from 19.6%. Conversely, 21.9% of consumers said business conditions were “bad,” up from 21.4%.

Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was less upbeat with 55.2% of consumers said jobs were “plentiful,” down from 56.7%. On the other hand,  10.6% of consumers said jobs are “hard to get,” up from 9.6%.

Consumers’ optimism about the short-term business conditions outlook was mixed in April with 18.1% of consumers expect business conditions will improve, down from 19.0%. Conversely, 21.8% expect business conditions to worsen, down from 24.1%.

Consumers were less optimistic about the short-term labor market outlook with 17.4% of consumers expect more jobs to be available in the months ahead, down from 17.6%. On the other hand 18.9% anticipate fewer jobs, up from 18.0%.

Consumers were less pessimistic about their short-term financial prospects with 16.5% of consumers expect their incomes to increase, up from 15.1% on the contrary 13.8% expect their incomes will decrease, virtually unchanged from 13.7%.

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