University of Michigan: Consumers Less Upbeat in April

U.S. consumers were less upbeat in April with sentiment for current conditions and expectations easing, the University of Michigan (search) said Friday.

The University of Michigan said its measure of confidence had fallen to 87.7 in April from 92.6 in March, according to market sources who saw the subscription-only report. The preliminary April reading was 88.7, and analysts on average had called for a final April reading of 89.0.

The survey's expectations component fell to 77.0 from 82.8, while sentiment on current conditions fell to 104.4 from 108.0.

Consumer spending (search) accounts for two-thirds of overall U.S. economic activity, and any improvement in confidence is seen as a precursor to stronger growth.

However, in recent years the correlation between confidence and retail sales (search) has weakened, with consumers buying new cars and homes in earnest even as they tell surveys that things are getting worse.