January 18, 2013 10:10 AM, EST
Consumer Confidence Declines

Consumer confidence fell in January, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index released Friday.

The month’s preliminary index fell to a reading of 71.3, from 72.9 in December.

Economists had forecast the index would rise to 75, Bloomberg News reported.

The index averaged 89 in the five years before the recession that began in December 2007.

The survey’s index of current conditions asks Americans if they are better off than they were a year ago and if it is a good time to buy big-ticket items.