Consumer Confidence Index Falls Amid Job Worries
Consumer Confidence Index fell in December amid worries about the job market and declining home prices, according to a statement issued Tuesday.
The index had improved slightly in November but fell again this month to 52.5 from 54.3. The index was gathered through a surgery of 5,000 households conducted by prominent research firm the Conference Board.
"Consumers' assessment of the current state of the economy and labor market remains tepid, and their outlook remains cautious," said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board's consumer research center. "Thus, all signs continue to suggest that the economic expansion will continue well into 2011, but that the pace of growth will remain moderate."
Economists had expected the index to improve to 56.1. However, a rise in the unemployment rate has many worried about job security.
Despite the forecast, other economic measures have improved. The National Retail Federation says holiday shopping was stronger than predicted and rose by 3.3 percent.
December's drop is the first such decline since September of this year. During that month, the index dropped to a 17-month low of 48.6 and remained uneven the rest of the year.