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Consumer Confidence Dipped In December

The widely watched Consumer Confidence Index from the private Conference Board edged down to a reading of 52.5 this month from 54.3 in November, the research group just reported.

Still, Lynn Franco, director of the Consumer Research Center at the Conference Board, says in a statement that "despite this month's modest decline, consumer confidence is no worse off today than it was a year ago."

And it's worth remembering that earlier today we got some news that seemed to indicate that consumer spending is on the rise: MasterCard Advisors' SpendingPulse said consumers spent 5.5 percent more this holiday season than in 2009.