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The Conference Board’s U.S. consumer confidence index rose in April following a sequester-fueled decline in March. The index now stands at a reading of 68.1 (1985=100), up from 61.9 in March.
“Consumer Confidence improved in April, as consumers’ expectations about the short-term economic outlook and their income prospects improved,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “However, consumers’ confidence has been challenged several times over the past few months by such events as the fiscal cliff, the payroll tax hike and the sequester. Thus, while expectations appear to have bounced back, it is too soon to tell if confidence is actually on the mend.”
The number of consumers anticipating more jobs in the months ahead rose to 14.2 percent in April from 13.0 percent in March, according to the index’s survey. Those expecting fewer jobs decreased to 22.4 percent from 26.0 percent.
The percentage of people saying business conditions are “good” increased to 17.2 percent in April from 16.4 percent in March. Considerably more upbeat about the short-term outlook, the percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months increased to 16.9 percent in April from 15.0 percent in March.