The Consumer Confidence Index, reported by the Conference Board, slipped in April.
The Consumer Confidence Index declined slightly to 94.2 in April, from 96.1 in March. The present situation index rose to 116.4 in April, from 114.9 in March; the expectations index dropped to 79.3 in April, from 83.6 in March.
Compared with last month, in April consumers were more optimistic about the present situation, but pessimistic about the short-term outlook. In April, 11.0% of respondents reported that they expected business conditions would get worse over the next six months, an increase from 9.5% in March. The share of respondents expecting “better” business conditions over the next six months dropped to 13.4% in April, from 14.7% in March. The share of respondents expecting “more jobs” over the next six months decreased slightly to 12.2% in April, from 13.0% in March.
The Conference Board also reported the shares of respondents planning to buy a home within six months. The decline in respondents’ expectations for better business conditions and more jobs six months from now appears to have depressed near-term plans for home buying. The share of respondents planning to buy a home within six months declined to 5.4% in April, from 6.3% in March.
Despite the monthly volatility, the trends in the shares of respondents planning to buy a home and a new home continue to recover from recession lows.