Consumer confidence rose slightly in April after a decline in March.
The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index now stands at 128.7, up from 127 last month. Both components of the Index saw a gain, with the Present Situation Index inching up to 159.6 from 158.1 and the Expectations Index up to 108.1 from 106.2.
Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, said, “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved somewhat, with consumers rating both business and labor market conditions quite favorably.”
Franco said that the percentage of consumers expecting their incomes to decline over the coming months has reached its lowest level since December 2000. That percentage is now at 6.8 percent, down from 7.2 percent last month, versus 6 percent in December 2000.
She also said “confidence levels remain strong and suggest that the economy will continue expanding at a solid pace in the months ahead.”
On the jobs front, consumers surveyed were more confident about their short-term prospects than current conditions. Those who said jobs were “plentiful” now fell to 38.1 percent from 39.5 percent, while those who believed jobs are “hard to get” declined to 15.2 percent from 15.7 percent. But over the short-term, or six months out, those who said they expect more jobs in the months ahead rose to 19.5 percent from 18.9 percent, while those who anticipate fewer jobs remained at 12.5 percent.
David Deull, U.S. economist for IHS Markit, said, “Sustained improvement in incomes due to increased hiring and wage gains should keep consumer confidence elevated for a few more years. The April increase in the overall index and buying plans for household appliances is supportive of our [second-quarter] real consumer spending growth outlook.”