Confidence down slightly

The first look at UoM confidence in April was 75.7, .5 pt below expectations and down from 76.2 in March which was the best since Feb ’11. The components were mixed however as Current Conditions fell 5.4 pts to a 4 month low but the Outlook rose by 2.7 pts to the highest since Sept ’09. With gasoline prices plateauing over the past few weeks at the $3.90 level on average following the steep trajectory in the last few months, one year inflation expectations fell to 3.4% from 3.9% in March. Five year expectations remained unchanged at 3.0%, the most since June ’11. Bottom line, as consumer confidence is not a leading indicator and more coincident, it doesn’t tell us much about the future. The key to watch economically from the consumer is what amount of retail sales were pulled forward with the modest winter and we’ll get a taste of that on Monday when March Retail Sales get released.

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