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Consumers' short-term outlook remains quite grim in April
Apr '08
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had declined sharply in March, fell further in April. The Index now stands at 62.3 (1985=100), down from 65.9 in March.

The Present Situation Index decreased to 80.7 from 90.6. The Expectations Index was virtually unchanged, 50.1 versus 49.4 in March.

The Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households. The monthly survey is conducted for The Conference Board by TNS.

TNS is the world's largest custom research company. The cutoff date for April's preliminary results was April 22nd.

Says Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center: “This month's decline in Consumer Confidence was the result of yet another sharp decline in the Present Situation Index.

This continued weakening suggests that not only has the feeble level of growth in the first quarter spilled over into the second quarter, but that economic conditions may have slowed even further.

And, not only are lackluster business and job conditions eroding confidence, but rising gasoline prices are undoubtedly heightening concerns.

Consumers' inflation expectations continue to rise and this measure now matches the all-time high reached in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The percentage of respondents intending to take a vacation over the next six months has fallen to a 30-year low, another sign of consumers turning more cost conscious.

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