United States Consumer Confidence
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index Monthly Update
The latest Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index was released on Tuesday, April 25 based on data collected through April 13. Consumer confidence slips from the previous month’s best reading in 16 years. Still, Americans remain far more optimistic than before the 2016 election.
The Index which had increased sharply to a 16-year high slipped in April as Americans grew less optimistic about the economy. Some economists expected the index to fall at a lesser degree of 122.9. The Index now stands at a preliminary 120.3, down 4.6 points from the downward revision of 124.9 in March.
“Consumer confidence declined in April after increasing sharply over the past two months, but still remains at strong levels,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers assessed current business conditions and, to a lesser extent, the labor market less favorably than in March. Looking ahead, consumers were somewhat less optimistic about the short-term outlook for business conditions, employment and income prospects. Despite April’s decline, consumers remain confident that the economy will continue to expand in the months ahead.”
Americans expect fewer jobs to be available and those that say jobs are hard to get remained virtually the same. Those surveyed stating jobs are “plentiful” declined from 31.8 percent to 30.8 percent while persons claiming jobs are “hard to get was unchanged at 19.1 percent.
The outlook for the labor market was also less upbeat. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead declined from 23.8 percent to 23.0 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs increased from 12.7 percent to 13.1 percent.
Consumer confidence for May 2017 will be released on Tuesday, May 30, 2017.
Consumer confidence is a key measure of consumer’s attitudes. The survey, a closely followed barometer of consumer attitudes, measures confidence toward business conditions, short-term outlook, personal finances and jobs. In other words it measures the degree of optimism that consumers feel about the overall state of the economy and their personal financial situation. If consumer confidence is high, consumers are more likely to make purchases. Vice-versa, if consumer confidence is low, consumers are more likely to save and spend less.