NEW YORK (Reuters) -- U.S. consumer confidence -- a statistic often used as a bellwether for future automotive sales -- unexpectedly deteriorated in December, hurt by increasing worries about the jobs market, according to a private report released today.
The Conference Board, an industry group, said its index of consumer attitudes slipped to 52.5 in December from an upwardly revised 54.3 in November.
The median of forecasts from analysts polled by Reuters was for a reading of 56.0.
Consumers' labor market assessment also worsened.
The "jobs hard to get" index rose to 46.8 percent in December from 46.3 percent last month, while the "jobs plentiful" index dropped to 3.9 percent from 4.3 percent.