April 25, 2017 — The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had increased in March, declined in April. The Index now stands at 120.3 (1985=100), down from 124.9 in March. The Present Situation Index decreased from 143.9 to 140.6 and the Expectations Index declined from 112.3 last month to 106.7.
The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey®, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was April 13.
“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.” Consumers’ assessment of current conditions eased in April. Those saying business conditions are “good” declined from 32.4 percent to 30.2 percent, while those saying business conditions are “bad” increased slightly, from 13.1 percent to 13.8 percent.
Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was moderately less favorable. Those stating jobs are “plentiful” declined from 31.8 percent to 30.8 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” was virtually unchanged at 19.1 percent. Consumers were less optimistic about the short-term outlook in April. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months decreased from 26.9 percent to 24.8 percent, while those expecting business conditions to worsen rose from 8.5 percent to 10.9 percent.
Consumers’ 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. The percentage of consumers expecting their incomes to increase declined from 22.5 percent to 19.3 percent, while the proportion expecting a decrease held steady at 7.5 percent.
Source: April 2017 Consumer Confidence Survey®, The Conference Board