The current conditions index fell from 166.7 to 76.4, an unprecedented drop of 90 points. The expectations index, based on the outlook for the future, improved slightly from 86.8 in March to 93.8 in April.
The current condition index figures “reflect the sharp contraction in economic activity and soaring unemployment demands,” said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at the Conference Board.
Kathy Bostjancic, chief financial economist in the United States at Oxford Economics, said the decline in confidence was worrisome because “consumers’ unfavorable views on future income prospects may constrain consumer spending and the economy as a whole “
Consumers generate about 70% of all economic activity in the United States.
Many economists believe that the country has already entered a recession which will be the greatest economic disturbance since the Great Depression of the 1930s.