Consumer Confidence Gets Whacked…Again

Despite a delay in the fiscal cliff, consumer confidence in the United States took another plunge in January to reach its lowest level in more than a year.

After a sharp decline in December, The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index fell further in January. The index of consumer attitudes dropped to 58.6, compared to an upwardly revised 66.7 last month. It was the lowest reading since November 2011 and the worst month-over-month decline since August 2011, when Washington D.C. caused pessimism with its bickering over the debt ceiling.

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The January reading was well below the median estimate of 64 in a Bloomberg survey of 73 economists. In fact, every prediction in the survey was higher than the 58.6 reading.

The fiscal cliff, a combination of tax cuts expiring and a reduction in government spending, is taking the majority of the blame for the weak consumer sentiment, as the majority of Americans took a hit on their paychecks…