American Consumer Confidence Weakens with Pessimistic Job and Business Outlooks

The Conference Board said Consumer Confidence ln April fell to 101.3 (consensus 104.1) from a downwardly revised 104.0 (from 104.2) in March. In the same period a year ago, the index stood at 108.6. Noticeably sentiment has become more pessimistic about the outlook for business conditions and the job market. The negativity around bank failures and politics in the United States has had another month to set in. The expectations Index remained below 80.0 for the 13th month out of the last 14, which serves as a concerning signal about future growth.

American consumers’ short-term outlook has become became decidedly gloomy, becoming considerably less upbeat about their short-term income prospects. That is scuppering plans to buy homes, autos, and major appliances.

The Conference Board

US Consumer Confidence April 2023

US CB Consumer Confidence April: 101.3 (est 104.1; prev R 104.0)

  • The Present Situation Index increased to 151.1 from 148.9.
  • The Expectations Index dropped to 68.1 from 74.0.
  • 12-month inflation expectations remained essentially unchanged at 6.2%.

“While consumers’ relatively favorable assessment of the current business environment improved somewhat in April, their expectations fell and remain below the level which often signals a recession looming in the short-term,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director, Economics at The Conference Board.

  • The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index (1985=100) fell in April to 101.3 (1985=100), down from 104.0 in March
  • The Present Situation Index (based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions) (1985=100) increased to 151.1 (1985=100) from 148.9 last month. 
  • The Expectations Index (based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions) (1985=100) fell to 68.1 from 74.0
  • Expectations has now remained below 80—the level associated with a recession within the next year—every month since February 2022, with the exception of a brief uptick in December 2022. The survey was fielded from April 3—about three weeks after the bank failures in the United States—to April 19.

    “Consumers became more pessimistic about the outlook for both business conditions and labor markets. Compared to last month, fewer households expect business conditions to improve and more expect worsening of conditions in the next six months. They also expect fewer jobs to be available over the short term. April’s decline in consumer confidence reflects particular deterioration in expectations for consumers under 55 years of age and for households earning $50,000 and over.” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director, Economics at The Conference Board.

    “Meanwhile, April’s results show consumer inflation expectations over the next 12 months remain essentially unchanged from March at 6.2 percent—although that level is down substantially from the peak of 7.9 percent reached last year, it is still elevated. Overall purchasing plans for homes, autos, appliances, and vacations all pulled back in April, a signal that consumers may be economizing amid growing pessimism.”

    The Conference Board publishes the Consumer Confidence Index® at 10 a.m. ET on the last Tuesday of every month. Subscription information and the technical notes to this series are available on The Conference Board website:

    About The Conference Board

    The Conference Board is the member-driven think tank that delivers trusted insights for what’s ahead. Founded in 1916, a non-partisan, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States.

    Source: The Conference Board

    From The TradersCommunity News Desk