ECONOMY

US consumer confidence dips in April but remains strong

U.S. consumer confidence slipped in April but remains at high levels.

The Conference Board, a business research group, says its consumer confidence index registered 120.3 this month, down from 124.9 in March, which was the highest reading in 16 years.

Americans' assessment of current conditions and their expectations for the future both dipped this month. Their outlook for the jobs market also dimmed.

Still, consumers' spirits have risen sharply since the Nov. 8 election of President Donald Trump.

"Despite April's decline, consumers remain confident that the economy will continue to expand in the months ahead," said Lynn Franco, the Conference Board's director of economic indicators.

Economists closely monitor the mood of consumers because their spending accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.