Consumer confidence at lowest level of year

Consumer confidence dropped more than six points this month, to its lowest mark of the year, The Conference Board reported Tuesday.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index declined to 95.2 in April from 101.4 in March. It is still well ahead of last year’s numbers and only January, February and March of this year have seen higher numbers since the recession.

Consumer confidence has yo-yoed so far this year, going up in January, dropping in February, increasing in March and now retreating again for April.

“Consumer confidence, which had rebounded in March, gave back all of the gain and more in April,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “This month’s retreat was prompted by a softening in current conditions, likely sparked by the recent lackluster performance of the labor market, and apprehension about the short-term outlook. The Present Situation Index declined for the third consecutive month. Coupled with waning expectations, there is little to suggest that economic momentum will pick up in the months ahead.”

The Present Situation Index, which measures consumer sentiment about current conditions, decreased from 109.5 last month to 106.8 in April. The Expectations Index, which measures future expectations, declined from 96.0 in March to 87.5 this month.

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