Consumers were less confident in the economy and the job market this month compared to March, the University of Michigan reported Friday morning.
The UM Consumer Confidence Index registered a reading of 89.7 in early April, down from a 91 in March. Economists polled by Bloomberg expected a more robust reading of 91.8.
The index has been falling since the beginning of 2016. In December, it stood at 92.6. In April, 2015, the index was at 95.9.
Richard Curtin, Surveys of Consumers chief economist at the school, cautioned against reading too much into the decline. "To be sure, the sizes of the recent losses have been quite small, with the Sentiment Index falling just 2.9 Index-points since December 2015, although it was down 6.2 Index-points from a year ago and 8.4 points below the peak in January 2015," he said in a statement. "None of these declines indicate an impending recession, although concerns have risen about the resilience of consumers in the months ahead."
Consumers were less positive about expected wage gains and inflation-adjusted income expectations, and they expressed growing concerns that slowing economic growth would slow job creation.
"These apprehensions should ease as the economy rebounds from its dismal start in the first quarter of 2016," said Curtin. "Overall, the data now indicate that inflation-adjusted personal consumption expenditures will grow by 2.5% in 2016."