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Consumer Confidence Index for April 2013
Every month, with its Consumer Confidence Index, the Conference Board offers a look into how Americans currently view the economy. Like many other economic indicators these days, this one has been showing lots of volatility. For this month, the index rose 6.2 points to 68.1 compared with a revised 61.9 in March. But the April gain just took back what had been lost in March, when the index fell by 5.8 points. This up-and-down pattern has been going on for the past five months. Moreover, the index remains at recessionary levels.

According to Lynn Franco, director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board:

“Consumer Confidence improved in April, as consumers’ expectations about the short-term economic outlook and their income prospects improved. However, consumers’ confidence has been challenged several times over the past few months by such events as the fiscal cliff, the payroll tax hike and the sequester. Thus, while expectations appear to have bounced back, it is too soon to tell if confidence is actually on the mend.”
Those surveyed who said business conditions are “good” rose to 17.2 percent from 16.4 percent March, while those saying they are “bad” decreased to 28.1 percent from 29.1 percent. Consumers had a mixed view of the labor market. Those saying jobs are “plentiful” rose to 9.8 percent from 9.5 percent. But those saying they are “hard to get” increased to a six-month high, from 35.4 percent in March to to 37.1 percent April. That's not encouraging news from Friday's monthly jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

On the other hand, again with the mixed readings, consumers who expect there will be more jobs in the months ahead rose to 14.2 percent from 13.0 percent and those expecting fewer jobs fell to 22.4 percent from 26.0 percent.

Meanwhile, what analysts consider a key barometer of the economy, the Chicago Purchasing Manager Index or Chicago PMI, took a dive of 3.4 points to 49.0. Anything below 50 means contraction. The April drop follows on a drop in March of 4.4 points. On the other hand, which ought to qualify as the most common introductory phrase on the economy these days, new orders were up two-tenths of a percent. That offers some hope that the Chicago PMI will not remain in negative territory.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (8+ / 0-)

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 09:01:47 AM PDT

  •  Passing "peak recovery" in our "new normal"... (2+ / 0-)

    ...frankly, I'm just blown away by the greater truths--i.e.: complacency, resignation from Main Street--we've been witnessing in our corporatocracy of late. The propaganda is beyond the pale; brilliantly executed, at first, but now pathetically wearing very, very thin...to the point where even the proclamations of our leaders are now approaching a level of transparency that's indicative of elite hubris (think: Lanny Breuer, etc.) unlike anything the public's ever witnessed. Tragic, even.

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 09:18:55 AM PDT

    •  which propaganda are you referring to? (0+ / 0-)
      •  Are you referencing... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bon Temps

        THIS? Or, other spin? (i.e.: "Housing's going through the roof again," as long as you treat the record preponderance of cash investors as if they're real homebuyers, and make believe this situation's "normal.")

        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

        by bobswern on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 11:00:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree investors are driving (0+ / 0-)

          the new housing bubble.

          And, I do agree there is a big disconnect between Wall St. and reality of the economy.  Interesting diary you linked to, BTW.  Thanks.

          But, I only partially agree that the fed is directly driving stock prices.  The fed (and other central banks) are driving the fundamentals that make stocks so attractive... at least that is how some analysts I have read explain it - not directly buying stocks.

          However, if the central banks stop now, they'll crash the system, won't they?

  •  Maybe the increase of $1 per pack on ciggies (0+ / 0-)

    in Chicago affected the Chicago PMI?  And that's all tax, BTW.

    Actually, I think that happened a month or more ago.. but I just heard about it the other day.

    As far as all the purchasing indexes goes, they are all pretty much worthless.  Daily purchases at the grocery store are going up, up, up.  And you are getting less!  Have you seen how big the hole is in a roll of toilet paper these days?  The half gallon of orange juice is now 59 ounces!

    Real inflation is probably closer to 7-10%.

  •  Confidence is up when Labor is down (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades

    So to this non-econ (me) doesn't the measuring of purchasing by businesses of raw materials (or whatever it is they are purchasing/measuring) to produce stuff being in the negative, tell us that austerity (taking billions OUT of the economy) is exactly the wrong move if businesses seek a higher PMI to boost consumer confidence & profits?

    And who are the "consumers" being measured. It doesn't sound like consumers are regular working people to me, but more like the high finance sector

    The Chicago Business Barometer, summarizing current business activity, also is known as Chicago Purchasing Manager Index or Chicago PMI. The Barometer is considered to be a leading indicator of the USA economy.
    Confidence is up when Jobs are down. Austerity isn't really about austerity at all to "reduce the debt & deficit". But that the decision has been made to cut labor costs by making labor a smaller piece of the over-all equation
    ..not encouraging news from Friday's monthly jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
    Protecting profits and salaries at the top while making the cuts in costs at the labor end of things, by purposefully steering the economy in a direction that will produce an "excess labor market" ( excess labor - hate that description - higher unemployment)

    It means lower wages making labor/unions an "excess" to be shrunk

    Thx MB

    P.S. ranting OT a bit & questioning/trying to figure this out

    •  correx: Labor unions to be shrunk and the amount.. (0+ / 0-)

      ..of "excess labor" pool (still hate the "excess labor" descriptor - labor being called an excess or a liability instead of an asset) to be increased, to lessen both worlers bargaining power and their portion of the gains

      It means lower wages making labor/unions an "excess" to be shrunk

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