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Consumers confidence improves in April.

April Results

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index, which was flat last month, increased in April. The Index now stands at 92.9 (1985=100), up from 88.5 in March. The Present Situation Index rose to 90.6 from 84.4. The Expectations Index increased to 94.5 from 91.3.

The Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households. The monthly survey is conducted for The Conference Board by TNS NFO. TNS NFO is one of the TNS group of companies (LSE: TNN). The cutoff date for April's preliminary results was the 20th.

Consumers' assessment of current conditions improved in April. The percentage of respondents claiming business conditions improved rose to 21.4 percent from 20.7 percent. Those claiming conditions have worsened declined to 22.0 percent from 23.1 percent. The percent of consumers claiming jobs are hard to get fell to 27.6 percent from 29.9 percent. Those saying jobs are plentiful increased to 15.8 percent from 14.7 percent.

Consumers' short-term optimism improved for the first time this year. Respondents expecting business conditions to improve edged up to 20.5 percent from 19.5 percent. Consumers expecting conditions to worsen over the next six months dipped to 9.3 percent from 9.7 percent. The employment outlook was also more favorable. Respondents anticipating more jobs to become available increased to 18.2 percent from 15.7 percent. The percentage expecting fewer jobs was virtually unchanged at 17.5 percent. The proportion of consumers anticipating an increase in their incomes declined to 17.0 percent from 18.0 percent last month.

April's improvement in consumer confidence was sparked by a more favorable assessment of current conditions and a more optimistic short-term outlook. The job market, which has a major impact on confidence, appears to be gaining strength. The percentage of consumers claiming jobs are hard to get is now at its lowest level since November 2002, and a greater percentage than last month expect this trend to continue.

[GRAPHICS OMITTED]
Consumer Confidence and Buying Plans
Based on surveys conducted by NFO Research, Inc.
Percentage of households = 100%

 2003
All series seasonally
adjusted Apr. May June July Aug. Sept.

 Composite Series: Index Numbers, 1985=100

Consumer Confidence Index 81.0 83.6 83.5 77.0 81.7 77.0
 Present Situation 75.2 67.3 64.2 63.0 62.0 59.7
 Expectations 84.8 94.5 96.4 86.3 94.9 88.5

 Appraisal of Present Situation: Percent

Business Conditions
 Good 16.2 16.1 14.9 16.5 15.9 16.2
 Bad 23.9 28.4 28.1 30.2 31.0 29.5
 Normal 59.9 55.5 57.0 53.3 53.1 54.3

Employment
 Jobs plentiful 13.0 12.3 11.2 10.7 11.3 9.9
 Jobs not so plentiful 57.6 54.8 56.9 56.6 54.6 55.0
 Jobs hard to get 29.4 32.9 31.9 32.7 34.1 35.1

 Expectations for Six Months Hence: Percent

Business Conditions
 Better 18.9 22.8 23.5 20.0 22.6 21.3
 Worse 12.3 9.6 9.2 11.4 10.6 11.9
 Same 68.8 67.6 67.3 68.6 66.8 66.8

Employment
 More jobs 16.4 17.9 18.9 16.6 18.0 16.6
 Fewer jobs 20.9 17.8 16.9 19.6 18.6 21.1
 Same 62.7 64.3 64.2 63.8 63.4 62.3

Income
 Increase 17.2 17.1 17.1 15.9 20.7 19.0
 Decrease 10.7 9.7 10.4 11.3 9.5 9.7
 Same 72.1 73.2 72.5 72.8 69.8 71.3

 Plans to Buy Within Six Months: Percent

Automobile
 Yes 6.0 7.7 5.9 8.7 6.6 5.4
 New 2.8 3.7 2.7 3.4 2.7 2.1
 Used 2.1 2.5 2.3 4.0 3.2 2.2
 Uncertain 1.1 1.5 0.9 1.3 0.7 1.1

Home
 Yes 3.4 3.8 3.0 3.5 4.1 3.1
 New 1.3 1.1 0.9 0.9 1.3 1.2
 Lived in 1.4 1.7 1.5 1.7 1.5 1.2
 Uncertain 0.7 1.0 0.6 0.9 1.3 0.7

Major appliances
 Total plans 29.7 31.6 27.8 29.3 32.5 26.6
 Refrigerator 4.7 5.9 3.8 4.0 4.9 5.0
 Washing machine 3.7 3.9 3.3 4.1 4.7 3.1
 TV Set 7.0 7.3 7.2 6.8 7.4 6.3
 Vacuum Cleaner 4.9 5.1 4.4 5.5 5.6 5.0
 Range 3.1 3.8 3.4 3.1 3.5 2.5
 Clothes dryer 4.1 3.6 3.7 3.3 3.8 2.8
 Air conditioner 2.2 2.0 2.0 2.5 2.6 1.9
Carpet 5.6 5.5 4.9 6.3 5.6 4.8

 Vacation Intended Within Six Months:
 Percent

Vacation Intended 42.4 41.8 43.4
 Destination
 U.S. 37.0 36.2 36.3
 Foreign country 7.1 7.2 8.6

 Means of Travel
 Automobile 24.7 24.9 23.9
 Airplane 17.3 16.8 17.0
 Other 3.3 3.2 4.2

 Business Employment

 2003 2004
All series seasonally
adjusted Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb.

 Composite Series: Index Numbers, 1985=100

Consumer Confidence Index 81.7 92.5 94.8 97.7 88.5
 Present Situation 67.0 81.0 76.0 86.1 83.3
 Expectations 91.5 100.1 107.4 105.3 91.9

 Appraisal of Present Situation: Percent

Business Conditions
 Good 17.1 19.9 18.1 21.8 19.3
 Bad 28.1 23.6 23.7 23.1 23.2
 Normal 54.8 56.5 58.2 55.1 57.5

Employment
 Jobs plentiful 11.8 13.5 13.0 14.9 14.5
 Jobs not so plentiful 54.5 56.9 55.6 55.4 56.6
 Jobs hard to get 33.7 29.6 31.4 29.7 28.9

 Expectations for Six Months Hence: Percent

Business Conditions
 Better 23.5 24.5 28.0 27.0 19.5
 Worse 11.0 7.2 6.8 6.9 9.6
 Same 65.5 68.3 65.2 66.1 70.9

Employment
 More jobs 19.6 18.5 21.2 20.0 16.4
 Fewer jobs 20.4 18.0 15.1 15.2 18.8
 Same 60.0 63.5 63.7 64.8 64.8

Income
 Increase 16.9 20.2 21.7 18.2 17.1
 Decrease 10.8 9.6 9.6 8.6 8.4
 Same 72.3 70.2 68.7 73.2 74.5

 Plans to Buy Within Six Months: Percent

Automobile
 Yes 6.6 5.8 6.2 6.7 7.2
 New 3.0 2.2 2.8 2.5 2.9
 Used 2.7 2.8 2.7 3.1 3.2
 Uncertain 0.9 0.8 0.7 1.1 1.1

Home
 Yes 3.2 3.0 3.2 3.5 3.8
 New 1.0 0.5 0.8 1.0 1.3
 Lived in 1.2 2.0 1.5 1.6 1.4
 Uncertain 1.0 0.5 0.9 0.9 1.1

Major appliances
 Total plans 26.7 29.0 27.5 28.3 27.5
 Refrigerator 4.4 4.3 4.4 4.9 3.9
 Washing machine 3.2 3.7 3.1 3.7 3.7
 TV Set 7.0 7.2 7.0 6.5 7.4
 Vacuum Cleaner 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.9 4.8
 Range 3.1 3.6 3.1 3.0 2.6
 Clothes dryer 3.0 3.5 3.2 3.3 3.2
 Air conditioner 1.4 2.0 2.0 2.0 1.9
Carpet 5.0 5.3 5.4 5.8 4.7

 Vacation Intended Within Six Months:
 Percent

Vacation Intended 46.3 45.9 43.0
 Destination
 U.S. 38.3 38.0 36.6
 Foreign country 8.9 8.7 8.0

 Means of Travel
 Automobile 25.8 25.8 23.7
 Airplane 17.3 16.7 17.6
 Other 4.0 3.9 3.6

 Income

 2004
All series seasonally
adjusted Mar(r) Apr(p)

 Composite Series:
 Index Numbers,
 1985=100

Consumer Confidence Index 88.5 92.9
 Present Situation 84.4 90.6
 Expectations 91.3 94.5

 Appraisal of Present
 Situation: Percent

Business Conditions
 Good 20.7 21.4
 Bad 23.1 22.0
 Normal 56.2 56.6

Employment
 Jobs plentiful 14.7 15.8
 Jobs not so plentiful 55.4 56.6
 Jobs hard to get 29.9 27.6

 Expectations for
 Six Months Hence:
 Percent

Business Conditions
 Better 19.5 20.5
 Worse 9.7 9.3
 Same 70.8 70.2

Employment
 More jobs 15.7 18.2
 Fewer jobs 17.3 17.5
 Same 67.0 64.3

Income
 Increase 18.0 17.0
 Decrease 10.1 9.5
 Same 71.9 73.5

 Plans to Buy Within
 Six Months: Percent

Automobile
 Yes 5.4 6.4
 New 2.3 3.2
 Used 2.4 2.4
 Uncertain 0.7 0.8

Home
 Yes 4.2 3.5
 New 1.4 0.7
 Lived in 1.8 2.0
 Uncertain 1.0 0.8

Major appliances
 Total plans 29.0 30.6
 Refrigerator 4.6 4.7
 Washing machine 3.6 3.3
 TV Set 6.7 7.6
 Vacuum Cleaner 5.2 5.0
 Range 3.4 3.8
 Clothes dryer 3.7 3.7
 Air conditioner 1.8 2.5
Carpet 5.2 4.8

 Vacation Intended
 Within Six Months:
 Percent

Vacation Intended 42.4
 Destination
 U.S. 36.2
 Foreign country 8.0

 Means of Travel
 Automobile 22.4
 Airplane 20.4
 Other 3.6

(p)--preliminary (r)--revised

 Interest
Inflation Rates Stock Prices

 2003
Not Seasonally
Adjusted Apr. May June July Aug. Sept.

 Expectations for Twelve Months Hence: Percent

Inflation Rate
 Average 4.5 4.1 4.2 4.2 4.3 4.5

Interest Rates
 Higher 45.4 44.5 42.1 39.9 57.7 60.0
 Same 35.9 40.8 39.0 40.6 30.2 28.9
 Lower 18.7 14.7 18.919 19.512 12.111 11.111

Stock Prices
 Increase 35.1 36.1 43.2 39.3 39.7 42.1
 Same 32.7 38.7 34.8 35.6 36.8 36.7
 Decrease 32.2 25.2 22.0 25.1 23.5 21.2

Inflation
 2003 2004
Not Seasonally
Adjusted Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. Mar(r)

 Expectations for Twelve Months Hence: Percent

Inflation Rate
 Average 4.5 4.4 4.3 4.3 4.3 4.6

Interest Rates
 Higher 54.5 55.2 56.0 54.0 53.4 54.9
 Same 34.3 35.3 33.9 37.2 36.5 35.2
 Lower 11.229 9.510 10.118 8.810 10.119 9.910

Stock Prices
 Increase 42.2 44.8 44.7 47.2 43.3 39.3
 Same 37.5 37.9 36.7 36.5 38.6 39.9
 Decrease 20.3 17.3 18.6 16.3 18.1 20.8

Inflation

Not Seasonally
Adjusted Apr(p)

 Expectations for
 Twelve Months
 Hence: Percent

Inflation Rate
 Average 4.8

Interest Rates
 Higher 55.6
 Same 34.3
 Lower 10.1

Stock Prices
 Increase 40.3
 Same 36.5
 Decrease 23.2

 2003
All series seasonally
adjusted Apr. May June July Aug. Sept. Oct.

Age of Household Head
 Under 35 89.7 90.5 95.3 90.4 88.8 84.8 88.8
 35-54 80.3 85.6 83.3 77.2 83.8 76.1 84.6
 55 and over 75.6 75.8 77.3 69.8 74.5 73.6 74.6

Household Income
 Under $15,000 61.2 69.4 59.9 52.0 52.7 51.8 61.7
 $15,000-24,999 68.0 68.0 62.9 59.0 69.0 59.4 60.9
 $25,000-34,999 81.8 85.0 83.5 72.4 75.5 76.2 76.3
 $35,000-49,999 78.2 82.3 85.2 76.1 77.2 74.9 87.7
 $50,000 and over 91.3 92.7 96.3 92.0 98.0 92.2 93.1

 2004
All series seasonally
adjusted Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. Mar(r) Apr(p)

Age of Household Head
 Under 35 98.7 101.9 111.5 101.7 101.7 106.8
 35-54 92.0 92.2 91.2 85.5 88.2 88.9
 55 and over 88.7 93.3 97.3 83.6 81.4 89.1

Household Income
 Under $15,000 67.3 64.3 69.1 63.5 61.5 63.1
 $15,000-24,999 68.6 74.2 85.2 65.8 69.4 75.5
 $25,000-34,999 82.0 89.9 92.9 82.8 88.0 87.5
 $35,000-49,999 96.4 93.0 95.2 84.3 79.6 96.4
 $50,000 and over 108.1 110.9 112.0 107.1 105.9 108.0

 3 mos.
All series seasonally Percent
adjusted Change *

Age of Household Head
 Under 35 -0.6
 35-54 -4.7
 55 and over -9.0

Household Income
 Under $15,000 -6.3
 $15,000-24,999 -7.6
 $25,000-34,999 -2.5
 $35,000-49,999 -8.6
 $50,000 and over -3.0

* Percent Change: Average of last three months shown as compared with
preceding three months.

Age and Income data have been adjusted for seasonal variations.

Consumer Confidence by Region

Seasonally unadjusted 2003
Index numbers:
U.S. Average, 1985 = 100 Mar. Apr. May June July

New England
 Consumer Confidence Index 57.6 66.4 85.1 72.7 56.8
 Present Situation 38.0 52.0 71.4 46.5 42.8
 Expectations 70.8 76.0 94.3 90.2 66.2

Middle Atlantic
 Consumer Confidence Index 54.7 68.4 69.2 70.6 69.9
 Present Situation 52.5 58.2 50.3 51.5 58.0
 Expectations 56.2 75.2 81.8 83.3 77.9

East North Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 58.5 73.4 69.4 71.8 71.1
 Present Situation 52.2 60.9 49.9 46.3 56.3
 Expectations 62.7 81.8 82.4 88.8 80.9

West North Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 60.2 63.6 84.5 78.4 89.6
 Present Situation 56.2 59.2 79.1 62.2 78.5
 Expectations 63.0 66.6 88.2 89.2 97.0

South Atlantic
 Consumer Confidence Index 70.8 93.4 88.1 100.2 86.0
 Present Situation 74.1 96.7 81.1 97.8 80.8
 Expectations 68.6 91.2 92.7 101.9 89.6

East South Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 59.7 79.4 83.5 79.4 67.4
 Present Situation 56.0 79.7 66.5 70.0 60.2
 Expectations 62.2 79.3 94.9 85.7 72.2

West South Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 62.3 92.7 100.1 90.7 77.3
 Present Situation 53.3 91.8 92.1 75.1 63.8
 Expectations 68.3 93.3 105.4 101.1 86.3

Mountain
 Consumer Confidence Index 59.9 94.9 86.7 93.9 73.9
 Present Situation 49.2 80.3 67.3 70.3 61.1
 Expectations 67.1 104.6 99.6 109.7 82.4

Pacific
 Consumer Confidence Index 63.0 75.9 79.4 74.3 70.9
 Present Situation 57.9 57.5 48.3 50.8 52.7
 Expectations 66.4 88.1 100.1 89.9 83.1

Seasonally unadjusted 2003
Index numbers:
U.S. Average, 1985 = 100 Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.

New England
 Consumer Confidence Index 69.9 73.4 75.5 104.2 92.5
 Present Situation 51.6 55.5 57.4 103.3 72.7
 Expectations 82.2 85.3 87.6 104.8 105.7

Middle Atlantic
 Consumer Confidence Index 76.0 65.3 69.4 80.5 78.1
 Present Situation 59.6 45.3 57.6 70.3 60.9
 Expectations 86.9 78.6 77.3 87.3 89.6

East North Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 68.4 70.9 74.9 90.4 90.0
 Present Situation 46.6 54.1 67.5 74.7 62.7
 Expectations 82.9 82.2 79.8 100.8 108.2

West North Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 68.0 74.1 80.7 88.1 94.5
 Present Situation 46.0 64.4 67.4 71.3 78.9
 Expectations 82.7 80.6 89.6 99.3 104.9

South Atlantic
 Consumer Confidence Index 88.8 84.8 98.9 103.9 106.1
 Present Situation 77.2 80.4 93.2 105.3 107.3
 Expectations 96.6 87.7 102.7 103.0 105.4

East South Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 84.5 67.4 95.5 98.7 84.5
 Present Situation 72.4 57.8 94.7 104.7 69.8
 Expectations 92.6 73.8 96.0 94.7 94.3

West South Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 82.0 90.6 86.7 97.0 99.7
 Present Situation 60.5 77.9 68.8 83.1 82.4
 Expectations 96.4 99.1 98.6 106.2 111.3

Mountain
 Consumer Confidence Index 87.8 96.6 104.9 102.8 105.1
 Present Situation 69.2 77.4 96.6 95.0 92.0
 Expectations 100.2 109.3 110.4 108.1 113.9

Pacific
 Consumer Confidence Index 85.5 77.7 86.1 92.4 90.6
 Present Situation 63.8 56.9 62.5 71.8 70.9
 Expectations 100.0 91.5 101.9 106.1 103.8

Seasonally unadjusted 2004
Index numbers:
U.S. Average, 1985 = 100 Jan. Feb. Mar(r) Apr(p)

New England
 Consumer Confidence Index 98.2 81.3 85.8 81.4
 Present Situation 86.5 48.8 71.3 73.3
 Expectations 106.1 103.0 95.5 86.8

Middle Atlantic
 Consumer Confidence Index 83.6 72.6 69.4 85.8
 Present Situation 62.5 65.8 56.9 73.1
 Expectations 97.7 77.2 77.7 94.2

East North Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 83.6 71.4 74.4 77.1
 Present Situation 61.1 51.9 55.6 58.9
 Expectations 98.6 84.4 87.0 89.3

West North Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 96.4 93.3 89.4 99.8
 Present Situation 85.0 77.2 84.5 100.8
 Expectations 104.0 104.0 92.6 99.1

South Atlantic
 Consumer Confidence Index 109.6 105.7 104.7 103.3
 Present Situation 106.6 106.2 112.7 116.7
 Expectations 111.6 105.3 99.3 94.3

East South Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 102.2 91.5 84.6 80.7
 Present Situation 94.8 79.0 74.8 78.6
 Expectations 107.2 99.9 91.2 82.1

West South Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 108.0 95.5 95.0 102.1
 Present Situation 92.5 83.4 80.4 95.1
 Expectations 118.3 103.6 104.8 106.8

Mountain
 Consumer Confidence Index 119.0 104.3 98.4 97.8
 Present Situation 102.6 93.2 92.0 103.3
 Expectations 130.0 111.7 102.6 94.2

Pacific
 Consumer Confidence Index 96.9 94.1 93.2 91.5
 Present Situation 75.1 80.6 78.4 77.1
 Expectations 111.5 103.1 103.1 101.1

 3-MONTH AVG.
Seasonally unadjusted Feb.,Mar.,Apr.
Index numbers: Percent
U.S. Average, 1985 = 100 2003 2004 Change

New England
 Consumer Confidence Index 62.3 82.9 33.0
 Present Situation 44.8 64.5 44.0
 Expectations 73.9 95.1 28.6

Middle Atlantic
 Consumer Confidence Index 60.2 75.9 26.2
 Present Situation 51.3 65.2 27.2
 Expectations 66.1 83.0 25.6

East North Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 63.4 74.3 17.3
 Present Situation 53.2 55.4 4.3
 Expectations 70.2 86.9 23.8

West North Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 63.0 94.1 49.4
 Present Situation 58.7 87.5 49.0
 Expectations 65.8 98.6 49.7

South Atlantic
 Consumer Confidence Index 81.0 104.5 29.0
 Present Situation 84.1 111.9 33.0
 Expectations 79.0 99.7 26.2

East South Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 66.6 85.6 28.5
 Present Situation 64.1 77.5 20.9
 Expectations 68.3 91.1 33.3

West South Central
 Consumer Confidence Index 76.7 97.5 27.2
 Present Situation 71.2 86.3 21.1
 Expectations 80.3 105.1 30.8

Mountain
 Consumer Confidence Index 74.5 100.1 34.3
 Present Situation 64.0 96.1 50.3
 Expectations 81.6 102.8 26.0

Pacific
 Consumer Confidence Index 67.4 92.9 38.0
 Present Situation 55.6 78.7 41.6
 Expectations 75.2 102.4 36.2

* Percent Change: Average of last three months shown as compared with
the same period a year ago. Regional data are not adjusted for seasonal
variation.
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Article Details
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Author:Franco, Lynn
Publication:Consumer Confidence Survey
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2004
Words:3662
Previous Article:Consumers confidence flat in March.
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