Americans Upbeat Despite Dip in Consumer Confidence

02 May 2002

The closely watched US consumer confidence barometer of the Conference Board in New York registered a slight dip in April, but remained high enough to suggest Americans are still upbeat.

The index dropped to 108.8 last month from a revised figure of 110.7 the month before. However, the March reading represented a huge leap from the 95 recorded in February – a level April’s index is well above.

Given the crisis in the Middle East, accounting fiascos and rising gasoline prices, sentiment held up well. “Consumers’ expectations remain virtually undaunted and signal continued expansion,” commented the Conference Board’s Lynn Franco. “Overall, they remain optimistic that we’re turning the corner.”

A drop in respondents’ assessment of the current climate accounted for much of last month’s fall in confidence, with the present situations index sliding from 111.5 in March to 107. The ‘future expectations’ barometer, however, held up much better, dipping from 110.2 to 110, and still a long way ahead of February’s 94 and the 79.1 recorded in April 2001.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff