U.S. consumer confidence edged only slightly lower in November after a sharp drop in October, indicating that the upcoming holiday shopping season could see better consumer spending, a research group said on Tuesday.

Investor's Business Daily and TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence said their IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index slipped to 47.9 in November from 48.7 in October.

Readings above 50 indicate optimism, while those below 50 point to pessimism.

The index is now exactly at its 12-month average of 47.9 and 3.5 points above its reading of 44.4 in December 2007, when the recession began.

After falling sharply in October, our index edged down slightly in November by comparison, which is a welcome sign, said Raghavan Mayur, president of TIPP, a unit of TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence, IBD's polling partner.

If it remains stable or rises in the upcoming holiday season it will be a bullish sign for consumer spending and economic activity.

The survey's six-month economic outlook component was down 0.5 point at 49.2 in November from 49.7 in October.

The IBD/TIPP surveys more than 900 adults generally in the first week of the month.

(Reporting by Tom Ryan; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)