U.S. Consumer Confidence Falls from 17-Yr. Peaks

Consumer optimism south of the border slipped in December, after hitting historic highs in the previous month.

The Conference Board's measure of consumer confidence declined to 122.1 in December, further than the 128.1 anticipated by economists.

In November, the index rose to 129.5, the highest mark since the index hit 132.6 in November 2000.

The index takes into account Americans' views of current economic conditions and their expectations for the next six months. Economists pay close attention to the numbers because consumer spending accounts for about 70% of U.S. economic activity.