U.S. consumer confidence sinks in April big time
The Conference Board, a private research group, on Tuesday said its index of consumer confidence sank to 86.9 in April from a revised 118.8 in March.
The index’s decline indicated the pandemic is weighing on consumers’ outlook, said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at the Conference Board.
“Consumer confidence weakened significantly in April, driven by a severe deterioration in current conditions,” she said.
The headline index’s decline was driven by a worsening of consumers’ views on present conditions fell to 76.4 from a revised 166.7 the previous month.
However, the index of consumers’ short-term outlook improved slightly, rising to 93.8 in April from a revised 86.8 in March.
“Consumers’ short-term expectations for the economy and labor market improved, likely prompted by the possibility that stay-at-home restrictions will loosen soon, along with a re-opening of the economy,” Franco said.
This month’s consumer confidence data is based on survey responses collected April 1-17.
During that period, the number of identified U.S. coronavirus cases and deaths grew exponentially.
People took to their homes and millions of workers filed for unemployment insurance as government authorities across the country shut down commercial activities in an effort to contain the virus. ■