Why People Are Feeling Less Optimistic About the Economy This Month

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After hitting a 16-year high in March, consumer confidence took a slight dip this month, says the latest survey by The Conference Board.

Still, despite the decline, the index indicates that consumer confidence remains markedly higher post election.

Consumer confidence declined in April after increasing sharply over the past two months, but still remains at strong levels,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board.

Specifically, the consumer confidence index now stands at 120.3, compared with the 16-year high of 124.9 it hit in March.

Consumers assessed current business conditions and, to a lesser extent, the labor market less favorably than in March, Franco noted.

Looking ahead, consumers were somewhat less optimistic about the short-term outlook for business conditions, employment and income prospects,” she added. “Despite April’s decline, consumers remain confident that the economy will continue to expand in the months ahead.”

Consumer confidence had also hit an historic milestone in February — climbing to a 15-year high of 114.8. At the time experts suggested that an end to a stormy election season, impending tax cuts and other changes by the new administration had left Wall Street types as well as other consumers in an optimistic mood.

Consumers rated current business and labor market conditions more favorably this month than in January,” Franco said at the time. “Expectations improved regarding the short-term outlook for business, and to a lesser degree jobs and income prospects.”