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Consumer confidence hits 94.2 in April, versus 96 estimate

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Consumers were feeling less optimistic than expected this month, new data said Tuesday.

The Consumer Confidence Index hit 94.2 in April, according to The Conference Board. That's lower than the 96 expected by Thomson Reuters consensus estimates.

"Consumer confidence continued on its sideways path, posting a slight decline in April, following a modest gain in March," said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board.

The survey, a closely-followed barometer of consumer attitudes, measures sentiment toward business conditions, short term outlook, personal finances and jobs.

Consumers had mixed views of current economic conditions, but were overall less hopeful for the future, the survey showed.

Compared to March, fewer people told The Conference Board they saw "good" business conditions and "plentiful" jobs in April, the survey found. But a smaller sequential percentage also observed bad business conditions and hard-to-get jobs, the survey said.

Looking forward, the largest share of consumers still expect business conditions to improve in the next six months, although in April the gap narrowed with those who expect conditions to worsen. Questions about future employment also showed a growing share of pessimism.

"Consumers' assessment of current conditions improved, suggesting no slowing in economic growth," Franco said. "However, their expectations regarding the short-term have moderated, suggesting they do not foresee any pickup in momentum."

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