Last week, we cautioned investors to take the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan reading on the overall index of consumer sentiment, which measured in above expectations at 84.1, with a grain of salt. While the closely-watched headline number was the highest reading since July of 2013, the Rasmussen Consumer Index, which measures consumer confidence on a daily basis, fell three points on Friday to 101.4. Consumer confidence was down a point from both one week ago and a month ago, and is unchanged from three months ago.
Similarly, the Gallup measurement that tracks consumer spending on a 3-day rolling average tanked from from $82 to $72, while the 14-day rolling average is down 5 to from $90 to $85. For both Gallup and Rasmussen, the trends so little sign of improvement over the last quarter
Now, on Tuesday, the Conference Board said consumers are discouraged by business and labor market conditions, reporting its index of consumer attitudes dropped to 82.3 in April from an upwardly revised 83.9 in the month of March. Economists had expected a reading of 83.0, according to a Reuters poll, and March was initially reported as 82.3.
The expectations index rose to its highest since August, hitting 84.9 in April from an upwardly revised 84.8 in March, while the present situation index fell to 78.3 after an upwardly revised 82.5 last month.
The “jobs hard to get” index increased to 32.5 percent from 31.4, revised downward from 33.0.