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The Conference Board’s U.S. consumer confidence index fell in January for the third month in a row. The index now stands at a reading of 58.6 (1985=100), down from 66.7 in December.
“Consumer Confidence posted another sharp decline in January, erasing all of the gains made through 2012,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers are more pessimistic about the economic outlook and, in particular, their financial situation. The increase in the payroll tax has undoubtedly dampened consumers’ spirits and it may take a while for confidence to rebound and consumers to recover from their initial paycheck shock.”
The number of consumers anticipating more jobs in the months ahead declined to 14.3 percent in January from 17.9 percent in December, according to the index’s survey. Those expecting fewer jobs remained virtually unchanged at 27.0 percent.