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Financial News: U.S. Consumer Confidence Unexpectedly Improves In April

U.S. Consumer Confidence Unexpectedly Improves In April

04/24/2018 - 10:34:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - After reporting a pullback in U.S. consumer confidence in the previous month, the Conference Board released a report on Tuesday showing an unexpected rebound in consumer confidence in the month of April.

The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index rose to 128.7 in April from a revised 127.0 in March. Economists had expected the index to dip to 126.1 from the 127.7 originally reported for the previous month.

"Overall, confidence levels remain strong and suggest that the economy will continue expanding at a solid pace in the months ahead," said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at the Conference Board.

The unexpected increase by the headline index was partly due to an improvement in consumers' assessment of current conditions, with the present situation index climbing to 159.6 in April from 158.1 in March.

The percentage of consumers saying business conditions are "good" fell to 35.2 percent in April from 37.6 percent in March, although those saying conditions are "bad" also dipped to 11.3 percent from 13.3 percent.

Consumers' assessment of the labor market was also mixed, as the percentage saying jobs are "plentiful" slipped to 38.1 percent in April from 39.5 percent in March, but those saying jobs are "hard to get" also edged down to 15.2 percent from 15.7 percent.

Franco said, "Consumers' short-term expectations also improved, with the percent of consumers expecting their incomes to decline over the coming months reaching its lowest level since December 2000."

The expectations index rose to 108.1 in April from 106.2 in March, as the percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months increased to 24.5 percent from 23.2 percent and those expecting conditions to worsen decreased to 9.7 percent from 10.2 percent.

Consumers' outlook for the labor market was also more positive, with the percentage expecting more jobs in the months ahead inching up to 19.5 percent from 18.9 percent and those anticipating fewer jobs remaining at 12.5 percent.

On Friday, the University of Michigan is scheduled to release its revised report on consumer sentiment in the month of April.

The consumer sentiment index for April is expected to be upwardly revised to 98.0 from the preliminary reading of 97.8, although that would still be down from 101.4 in March.

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