A gauge of US consumer confidence declined in April, a sign of caution that potentially could restrain household spending and the broader economy.
The Conference Board's consumer-confidence index fell to a seasonally adjusted 94.2 in April from a downwardly revised 96.1 in March, the group said Tuesday. That nearly reversed the jump last month from February's level of 94.0, and was barely changed from April 2015's reading of 94.3.
Economists surveyed by (The Wall Street Journal) had expected an April reading of 96.0. "Consumers' assessment of current conditions improved, suggesting no slowing in economic growth," said Lynn Franco, the group's director of economic indicators. "However, their expectations regarding the short-term have moderated, suggesting they do not foresee any pickup in momentum." The details of Tuesday's report were mixed. The present-situation index rose to 116.4 in April from 114.9 the prior month, while the expectations index fell to 79.3 from 83.6.
Fewer survey respondents in April said business conditions were good, but the share that described conditions as bad also declined. Fewer consumers described jobs as plentiful at the same time that fewer described jobs as hard to get. Slightly fewer people said they planned to take a vacation or buy a car, home or major household appliance within the next six months