4/16: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

Consumer sentiment slips slightly in early April survey

Consumer confidence continued its sideways shuffle in early April, posting an insignificant decline following the small gain recorded last month.  Still, consumers have increasingly voiced complaints about rising vehicle and home prices.



Year-ahead inflation expectations remain steady at 1.9 percent in April

Firms’ year-ahead inflation expectations went unchanged at 1.9 percent, on average.  Sales levels and profit margins compared to “normal times” remained roughly the same. Year-over-year unit cost growth increased slightly to 2.1 percent, on average.



Initial unemployment claims retreat to lowest level since 1969

In the week ending April 6, initial unemployment claims were 196,000, a decrease of 8,000 from the previous week’s revised level. This is the lowest level for initial claims since October 4, 1969 when it was 193,000. The 4-week moving average was 207,000, a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since December 6, 1969 when it was 204,500.