April 30, 2002 -- The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index, which surged in March, declined moderately in April. The Index now stands at 108.8 (1985=100), down from 110.7 in March. The Present Situation Index fell from 111.5 to 107.0. The Expectations Index declined from 110.2 to 110.0.
The Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households. The monthly survey is conducted for The Conference Board by NFO WorldGroup, a member of The Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG).
"This month's retreat in confidence was caused primarily by a softening in consumers' assessment of current economic conditions," says Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board's Consumer Research Center. "Consumers' expectations remain virtually undaunted and signal continued expansion in the months ahead."
Consumers' assessment of ongoing conditions eased in April. Those rating current conditions as "good" declined from 21.0 percent to 19.7 percent. Those rating current business conditions as "bad" rose from 18.3 percent to 19.4 percent. Consumers reporting jobs were plentiful inched up from 20.6 percent to 20.9 percent. Those claiming jobs were "hard to get" also increased, from 21.1 percent to 22.5 percent.
Consumers' outlook for the next six months was mixed. Those expecting an improvement in business conditions increased from 25.4 percent to 26.1 percent. However, those anticipating conditions to worsen increased modestly, from 6.2 percent to 6.4 percent.
The employment outlook was also mixed. Currently, 22.4 percent of consumers expect more jobs to become available in the next six months, up from 20.7 percent. However, those expecting fewer jobs rose from 13.5 percent to 14.7 percent. As for income prospects, 21.2 percent of consumers anticipate an increase, down from 22.7 percent in March.
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