US consumer confidence falls in April but remains at six year high

Tuesday 29 April 2014 16.23
US consumers do not foresee any dramatic slowdown in the economy
US consumers do not foresee any dramatic slowdown in the economy

US consumer confidence dipped in April but remained near a six-year high, while home prices rose in February, suggesting the economy continued to regain momentum after a winter lull.

The country’s Conference Board said its index of consumer attitudes dipped to 82.3, the second-highest reading since January 2008, from an upwardly revised 83.9 in March.

An unusually cold and snowy winter disrupted economic activity early in the year.

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 versus an upwardly revised 82.5 last month.

"While sentiment regarding current conditions may have slipped a bit, consumers do not foresee the economy, or the labour market, losing the momentum that has been building up over the past several months," Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board, said in a statement.

A separate report showed the S&P/Case-Shiller composite index of home prices in 20 metropolitan areas rose 0.8% in February on a seasonally adjusted basis, beating the expectation for a 0.7% gain according to a Reuters survey.

The monthly price increase mirrored the one in January, while prices were up 12.9% from a year ago, compared with a year-on-year gain of 13.2% in January.

The rise, however, failed to offset other recent data pointing to a loss of momentum in housing.

"Despite continued price gains, most other housing statistics are weak," said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, who cited new and existing home sales data.

An index of housing sector stocks slipped 0.3% and is down 10% from its 2014 high set in late February.

Data last week showed sales of new US single-family home stumbled to their lowest level in eight months in March, dashing hopes for a quick turnaround in the sector.