As Americans became more gloomy about future economic prospects, even as their opinions of the present situation improved, consumer confidence decreased this month to its lowest level since July.
The Conference Board said on Tuesday that its index measuring consumer confidence fell from 104 in March to 101.3 in April. The indicator was expected to mostly remain at its level from the previous month, according to economists.
The indicator of current economic circumstances increased from 148.9 to 151.1. Consumers’ percentage saying the economy is doing well was constant at 18.8%, while their percentage saying it is doing poorly fell from 19.3% to 18.1%.
The percentage of respondents who said there were plenty of jobs increased from 47.9 to 48.4 while the percentage who said it was difficult to get a job fell from 11.7 to 11.4 percent.
The index of expectations, which represents the view for the next six months, dropped to 68.1, the lowest level since July. Consumers are more negative about the future of business conditions and job markets than they were one month ago. Fewer families anticipate bettering business circumstances, while more anticipate them getting worse. Although it decreased, the percentage of those who have a positive perspective on their family income still outpaces those who have a negative outlook.
Ataman Ozyildirim, senior director of economics at the Conference Board, stated that “although consumers’ generally positive assessment of the current business environment slightly improved in April, their expectations decreased and remain below the level that frequently signals a recession looming in the near future.”
According to Oxyildirim, since the March reading, inflation predictions have not altered.
“However, April’s findings reveal that consumer inflation estimates for the coming year remained practically steady from March at 6.2 percent; even while this level is far lower than the top of 7.9 percent attained last year, it is nevertheless high. In April, overall plans to buy homes, cars, appliances, and vacations all declined, suggesting that consumers may be cutting back amid rising pessimism,” he added.