Consumer confidence drops in January

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The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index dipped in January after increases in November and December.

The index now stands at 61.1, down from 64.8 in December. The Present Situation Index declined to 38.4 from 46.5. The Expectations Index edged down to 76.2 from 77 in December, according to The Conference Board.

“Consumer confidence retreated in January after large back-to-back gains in the final two months of 2011. Consumers' assessment of current business and labor market conditions turned more downbeat and is back to November 2011 levels,” Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, said in a statement.

“Regarding the short-term outlook, consumers are more upbeat about employment, but less optimistic about business conditions and their income prospects,” Franco added. “Recent increases in gasoline prices may have consumers feeling a little less confident this month.”

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