Adviser confidence declined in December, according to Monday's Advisor Confidence Index from AdvisorBenchmarking.

Advisers are less optimistic about the economic outlook this month than they were in November, according to the affiliate of Rydex Investments. The index is a benchmark gauging advisers' views of the economy and markets.

It slipped to 121.83 from its 124.48 November high. The survey said that advisers are moderately optimistic about the market outlook but worried about the long-term implications of the rising federal budget deficit and projected funding shortfalls for Social Security, which they see as the top two economic concerns.

The Consumer Confidence Index fell 2.48% in November, compared to a 4.07% rise in the adviser index. The latter's December decline was 2.12%.

The Advisor Confidence Index, modeled after the Consumer Confidence Index, is intended to reflect the sentiment of 150 independent registered investment advisers. They answer four multiple-choice questions every month; three gauge their views on the current economy, the next six months, and the next 12 months. The fourth asks for their outlook on the stock market in the next six months.

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