U.S. consumer confidence falls in April

Consumer confidence decreased in April as consumers were slightly less optimistic regarding business and labor market conditions, according to The Conference Board.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index fell to 82.3 in April from 83.9 in March. A reading of 90 or higher indicates a healthy economy.

The index measures how shoppers feel about business conditions, the job market and the next six months. Economists watch the index closely because consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of economic activity and is a critical part of a strong rebound.

Those expecting business conditions to improve during the next six months was unchanged at 17.4 percent, and those expecting business conditions to worsen increased to 10.3 percent from 10.1 percent.

Additionally, 15 percent expect more jobs during the next six months compared with 14.1 percent in March. Those expecting fewer jobs increased from 17.5 percent to 17.9 percent.

"Consumer confidence declined slightly in April as consumers assessed current business and labor market conditions less favorably than in March," says Lynn Franco, The Conference Board's director of economic indicators. "However, their expectations regarding the short-term outlook for the economy and labor market held steady. Thus, while sentiment regarding current conditions may have slipped a bit, consumers do not foresee the economy or labor market losing the momentum that has been building up over the past several months."

Date : 5/2/2014