WASHINGTON – The University of Michigan says American consumers were a bit more downbeat in April.
The university’s index of consumer sentiment slid to 89 in April from 91 in March. It is the lowest reading since September and the fourth straight drop. The index stood at 95.9 a year ago.
Consumers’ assessment of current economic conditions rose this month from March, but their outlook slid.
Richard Curtin, chief economist of the Michigan surveys, said consumers may have been troubled “by growing uncertainty about the economic policies advocated by various presidential candidates.” Rising gasoline prices may also have taken a toll.
On Tuesday, the Conference Board, a business group, reported that its measure of consumer spirits also slid in April; consumer expectations about the future fell to a two-year low.