Industry News

Consumer confidence worsens

Gas prices, jobs weigh heavily on Americans' minds

Rising gas prices and weaker job and economic expectations spelled more bad news for consumer confidence in April, The Conference Board reported today. The Consumer Confidence Index fell to 104 this month from 108.2 in March, as consumers grew warier about current and future economic conditions. "Unlike the decline in March, which was solely the result of apprehension about the short-term outlook, this month's decline was a combination of weakening expectations and a less favorable assessment of present-day conditions," Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, said in a statement. "Rising prices at the gas pump continue to play a key role in dampening consumers' short-term expectations. The decline in the Present Situation Index -- the first decline in six months -- warrants monitoring in the months ahead, as further declines would suggest a softening in growth." Just 26.5 percent of consumers claim current-day economic conditions are "good," down from 2...