Consumer confidence falls to nine-month low

New York -- A report released Friday found that confidence among American consumers declined in April to a nine-month low. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment declined to 72.3 in April from 78.6 a month earlier, lower than Bloomberg’s earlier estimates that called for a flat reading.

The decline reflects consumer pessimism about the economy and continuing effects from the increased payroll tax.

“If this weakness persists, then I think it will likely temper spending in coming months,” said Millan Mulraine, director of U.S. rates research at TD Securities USA LLC in New York. “The rollback on payroll taxes is beginning to have an impact on consumer spending activity and consumer confidence.”