U.S. Consumer Confidence Rose in April on Brighter Economic View

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. consumer confidence rebounded in April as Americans felt more optimistic about present and future economic conditions, underscoring how a tight labor market and higher wages are underpinning attitudes amid some uncertainty.

The Conference Board’s index climbed to 129.2, according to data from the New York-based group Tuesday that topped economist estimates in a Bloomberg survey. The gauge of views on the present situation increased to 168.3, while the expectations index climbed to 103.

Key Insights

  • The greater confidence suggests consumers are poised to keep spending, spurred by a tight labor market, record stock values and lower mortgage rates. The government’s monthly jobs report Friday is also expected to show payroll gains remained steady while wages accelerated following first-quarter economic growth that exceeded projections.
  • The report contrasts with the University of Michigan’s April sentiment gauge, which fell on weaker views of current economic conditions and expectations.

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  • Respondents saying jobs are plentiful increased to 46.8 percent, while those who saw jobs as hard to get fell to 13.3 percent. That brought the labor differential -- which measures the gap between those two measures -- to near the highest since 2001.
  • Buying plans for cars, homes and major appliances all cooled.

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