www.WDIO.com

Gauge of Consumer Confidence Hits 5-Month Low

Posted at: 12/21/2012 10:58 AM
By: MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer

null

WASHINGTON (AP) - Confidence among U.S. consumers has sunk to its lowest point since July, according to a monthly index.

The University of Michigan says its consumer sentiment index for December fell to 72.9, a sharp drop from the November reading of 82.7. The November figure was a five-year high.

Peter Newland, an economist at Barclays, says consumer confidence has dropped because of uncertainty over whether Congress and the Obama administration will reach a budget deal to avert sharp tax increases and government spending cuts set to take effect in January.

Economists at Stone & McCarthy say confidence could fall further if the standoff over the "fiscal cliff" persists into 2013.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)