West News Wire: Consumer confidence in the United States fell in April as perceptions of current conditions deteriorated somewhat, countering more optimistic future expectations.
The Conference Board’s index fell to 107.3 in April, down from an upwardly revised 107.6 in March. In a Bloomberg poll of economists, the median expectation was for a reading of 108.2.
Inflation, which is at its highest level since 1981, is eating away at salaries, forcing people to spend more money on necessities like food, petrol, and housing. While consumers have remained resilient and continue to spend, some economists are concerned that demand may eventually decrease to the point where a recession would occur. On Friday, inflation adjusted spending figures will be announced.
Even so, Americans are experiencing one of the hottest job markets in decades, marked by low unemployment and high demand for workers that’s boosting wages. The economy probably had another solid month of job growth in April, according to a Bloomberg survey ahead of government data next week.
The Conference Board’s gauge of current conditions declined to 152.6, while the expectations index improved to 77.2.
“Concerns about inflation retreated from an all-time high in March but remained elevated,” Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, said in a statement.
“Looking ahead, inflation and the war in Ukraine will continue to pose downside risks to confidence and may further curb consumer spending this year,” she said.
Respondents views of current business conditions were mixed, and views on the labor market while still very upbeat settled back a bit.
US inflation hits highest level in 40 years in January as prices rise 7.5% from 2021. Inflation in the US climbed to its highest level in 40 years in January, with prices rising by 7.5% from a year ago, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
Price rises for food, electricity, and shelter were the largest contributors to the increase. The food index rose 0.9% in January following a 0.5% increase in December. The energy index also increased 0.9% over the month.