Originally created 12/30/98

Consumers' confidence remains steady

NEW YORK -- Consumers' confidence in the economy was steady in December, after rebounding in November from a four-month slide.

The Conference Board reported today its index of consumer confidence fell a marginal 0.5 point to 126.1 from a revised 126.5 in November, when it increased for the first time since June.

Consumers' comfort level is an important economic indicator since their spending accounts for two-thirds of the nation's overall economic activity.

Consumers were moderately more positive in about the current state of the economy than they were in November, but the modest dip was caused by a decline in expectations for the economy six months from now, according to the Conference Board, a New York-based, business-financed private research group that compiles its index from a survey of consumers nationwide.

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