U.S. Economic Indicators

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index declined 1.5 points to 96.9 in the preliminary April reading and is down 1.9 points from a year ago. The Index of Consumer Expectations fell 3.0 points to 85.8, while the Current Economic Conditions Index improved 0.9 point to 114.2. University of Michigan

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that over half of economists surveyed as part of its monthly poll indicated that raising the federal minimum wage would hurt lower-income households by reducing employment. Respondents also expect, on average, for the economy to grow at a rate of 2.1% in 2019, and nearly half expect the next recession to start in 2020. WSJ

Bloomberg reports that Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, is preparing for bilateral trade talks with the U.S. as trade negotiations between the U.S. and China wind down. Japan agreed to talks after being hit by President Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs last year, and is hoping to avoid potential auto tariffs while the U.S. seeks to use agricultural exports to reduce its trade deficit with Japan. Bloomberg