After three years of cautious spending and paying down debt, American households have significantly improved their balance sheets. Yet consumer confidence slipped this month as more people worried about the job outlook.

The latest survey from Conference Board showed a decline, despite two months of increases and a jump in holiday spending. In December, consumer confidence stood at 52.5, well short of the 90 suggesting a healthy economy, but not much different than a year earlier.

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.