FXstreet.com (Barcelona) - US consumers are still hesitant about the economic health of their country, according to the Reuters/University of Michigan index, which grew only slightly to 72.8 in December compared to 72.5 the month before.

Forecasts had pointed to a more significant increase in the range of 74.0.

The survey's head economist Richard Curtin says that while consumers are more positive about the future of the economy, they still are quite uncertain about their own prospects.

While most think the worst is over, says Curtin, the problem is that consumers are still quite uncertain about when prospects for their own finances will improve.

Based on the results of this month's research, Curtin predicts that consumer spending will stay sluggish in 2010, only rising by 1.6%, as consumers add to their savings and decrease their indebtedness.