RAPAPORT... U.S. consumer confidence fell slightly in April 2013 to 68.1 points from 69.2 points one year ago, according to the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index. The Present Situation Index surged 18 percent year on year to 60.4 points, though the Expectations Index fell 10 percent to 73.3 points, according to the Conference Board.
Lynn Franco, the director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, explained that U.S. consumer confidence did improve slightly in April compared with March, however, consumer confidence has been challenged several times over the past few months by 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,'' Franco said.
Consumers who described business conditions as ''good'' in April rose to 17.2 percent compared with 15.3 percent one year ago, while those who believed business conditions were ''bad'' fell to 28.1 percent compared with 33.5 percent in April 2012. Nonetheless, views on the job market did not change much with 9.8 percent saying that jobs are ''plentiful,'' versus 8.4 percent one year ago, and 37.1 percent saying that jobs are ''hard to get,'' which was unchanged from April 2012.
Consumers’ outlook for the labor market deteriorated slightly with only 14.2 percent expecting the job market to improve in the months ahead, down from 16.9 percent in April 2012, while those expecting fewer jobs rose to 22.4 percent from only 18 percent last year.