The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index, which had been expected to edge forward in April, from an initially estimated reading for March of 82.3 to one of 83.4, eased back, instead, from an upwardly revised March 83.9 in the now-ending 30-day period to 82.3.

The survey is compiled by the Conference Board, a New York City research organization. The result is based on a probability-design random sample. The cutoff date for this index is April 17th.

According to Lynn Franco, the Conference Board's Director of Economic Indicators, "Consumer confidence declined slightly in April, as consumers assessed current business and labor market conditions less favorably than in March." She then went on to conclude: "However, their expectations regarding the short-term outlook for the economy and labor market held steady." 

Breaking the report down to its principal components, we find that those claiming business conditions are good eased from 22.6 to 21.8. At the same time, those suggesting that such conditions are bad edged up from 23.5 to 24.4. Consumers' assessment of the labor market also saw some month-to-month slippage.

Meanwhile, expectations held steady. Specifically, those expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months held steady at 17.4%. Those seeing conditions as deteriorating edged up just nominally from 10.1 to 10.3.

Although there was some month-to-month easing in the aggregate confidence total, it should be understood that the final figure of 82.3 is comparatively high. Thus, the latest data are not forecasting an economic boom, but still are suggesting a decent level of business activity going forward.

At the time of this article's writing, the author did not have positions in any of the companies mentioned.