U.S. consumer confidence edged lower in December, extending November's decline as consumers remained concerned about the economy and labor market, a research group said on Tuesday.
Investor's Business Daily and TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence said their IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index slipped to 46.8 in December from 47.9 in November.
Readings above 50 indicate optimism, while those below 50 point to pessimism.
The index is now 3.2 points below its 12-month average of 48.0 and 2.4 points above its reading of 44.4 in December 2007, when the recession began.
Americans' pessimistic view of the current economy is reflected in the confidence numbers, said Raghavan Mayur, president of TIPP, a unit of TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence, IBD's polling partner.
The runaway deficit and continued weak dollar are disconcerting. Further, despite growth, the persisting level of high unemployment is not helping to boost economic confidence, he said.
The survey's six-month economic outlook component was down 2.5 points at 46.7 from 49.2 in November.
The IBD/TIPP surveys more than 900 adults generally in the first week of the month.
(Reporting by Ciara Linnane, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)