Consumer confidence rebounds in April

Consumers short-term expectations improved to 60.4 from 59.2 and the expectations for the next six months got a big boost — to 73.3 from 63.7 in March. 

The report comes ahead of the April jobs report, which is due Friday. 

The confidence report reflected mixed feelings about current labor market conditions. 

Those claiming jobs are "plentiful" edged up to 9.8 percent from 9.5, while those claiming jobs are "hard to get" increased to 37.1 percent from 35.4 percent.

But the short-term outlook for jobs was more positive. 

Those expecting more jobs in the months ahead improved to 14.2 percent from 13, while those expecting fewer jobs decreased to 22.4 percent from 26. 

Along with better job prospects came the expectation of higher incomes with those expecting an increase ticking up to 16.8 from 14.6 percent, while those expecting a decrease declining to 16 from 17.7 percent.  

The addition of 88,000 jobs in March was well below expectations and some economists have said they expect the April figures to bounce back before, possibly, being zapped in the coming months by the $85 billion in across-the-board automatic spending cuts. 

The Congressional Budget Office has said the sequester could cost 750,000 jobs. 

Looking down the road, consumers were considerably more upbeat.

The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months increased to 16.9 from 15 percent, while those anticipating business conditions to worsen decreased to 15.1 from 17.7 percent.

Consumers’ assessment of current conditions also improved moderately in April. 

Those saying business conditions are “good” increased to 17.2 from 16.4 percent, while those stating business conditions are “bad” decreased to 28.1  from 29.1 percent.