The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index fell during December from the previous month, a report said.

The index, which is a good indicator of the confidence levels of the public put out later in the month by the University of Michigan and other bodies, dropped 0.9 points or 1.9 percent, posting 45.8 in December, down from 46.7 in November.

The index reading above 50 indicates an optimistic level.

The personal finance outlook and the confidence in economic policies improved during the month, but the six-month economic outlook, which is a measure of how consumers feel about the economy's prospects, fell 1.3 points to 48.7 during December.

Consumer confidence is still wobbly. The soft job market and the debate on the extension of unemployment benefits and Bush tax cuts are contributing to the slide in confidence, said Raghavan Mayur, president of TIPP, a unit of TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence, IBD's polling partner.