Consumer Confidence Index rebounds

A measure of consumer confidence has rebounded on more upbeat assessments of business and labor conditions.

The Conference Board reported that its Consumer Confidence Index rose 1.7 points to 128.7 in April, nearly offsetting a decline in March. Measures of current conditions and expectations both increased.

“Overall, confidence levels remain strong and suggest that the economy will continue expanding at a solid pace in the months ahead,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators for the Conference Board.

The business research and membership association bases the index on the results of monthly household surveys. Economists monitor the index because consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of economic activity in the country.

For April, the present situation component of the index rose 1.5 points to 159.6.

The proportion of consumers responding to the survey upon which the April index was based who described business conditions as “good” fell 2.4 points to 35.2 percent. But the share of those who characterized conditions as “bad” also fell — two points to 11.3 percent.

The proportion of consumers who jobs were “plentiful” fell 1.4 points to 38.1 percent. But those who called jobs “hard to get” also fell — a half point to 15.2 percent.

The expectations portion of the index rose 1.9 points to 108.1.

The share of consumers who said they expect business conditions to improve over the next six months rose 1.3 points to 24.5 percent. The proportion of those who said they anticipated worsening conditions fell a half point to 9.7 percent.

The share of consumers who said they expect more jobs to become available in coming months rose six-tenths of a point to 19.5 percent. The proportion of those expecting fewer jobs held steady at 12.5 percent.

Meanwhile, 23.1 percent of consumers said they expect their incomes to increase, while 6.8 percent said they expect to earn less.