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U.S. Consumer Confidence, Exports Sink Amid Disruptions
USAgNet - 04/29/2020

U.S. consumer confidence tumbled to near a six-year low in April as tough measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus sharply disrupted economic activity and threw millions of Americans out of work.

According to Reuters, the Conference Board said its consumer confidence index dropped to a reading of 86.9 this month, the lowest since June 2014, from 118.8 in March. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the index would fall to 87.9 in April.

The Conference Board survey's present situation measure, based on consumers' assessment of current business and labor market conditions, tumbled a record 90 points to a reading of 76.4 this month. But the expectations index, which is based on consumers' short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions, increased to 93.8 from a reading of 86.8.

The Conference Board attributed the improvement in expectations to "the possibility that stay-at home restrictions will loosen soon, along with a re-opening of the economy."

States and local governments have issued "stay-at-home" or "shelter-in-place" orders affecting more than 90% of Americans to control the spread of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus, and almost shutting down the country. Some have started to reopen their economies, while others have started easing some restrictions on movement.

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