Improved consumer confidence in December was short-lived as consumers, assessing the short-term jobs outlook, turned pessimistic in January.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index is 87.9, compared with 90.6 in December. Its two components showed mixed results as the Expectations Index fell to 69.6 from 75.8 and the Present Situation Index rose to 115.3 from 112.9. The Confidence Index was 87.8 in November.

“Looking ahead, consumers are quite downbeat about the short-term future and a greater proportion expect business conditions and employment to deteriorate further in the months ahead,’’ said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. “In addition, the percentage of consumers anticipating an improvement in their earnings has declined and could potentially impact spending decisions.”

For complete coverage, see Wednesday’s WWD.

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