Consumer confidence falls in December

Consumer confidence in the U.S. dropped in December as people worried about high unemployment, slow economic growth and a stagnant housing market, according to USA Today.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index fell from 54.3 in November to 52.5 in December; economists expected 55.8. A reading of 90 or higher indicates a healthy economy.

The index measures how shoppers feel about business conditions, the job market and the next six months. Economists watch the index closely because consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of economic activity and is a critical part of a strong rebound.

The part of the index that measures how shoppers feel now about the economy decreased from 25.4 in November to 23.5 in December. The measure that assesses consumers' outlook for the next six months decreased from 73.6 in November to 71.9 in December.

Date : 1/3/2011