Consumer Confidence Disappoints - TheStreet

WASHINGTON (

TheStreet

) -- Consumer confidence grew less than expected in early January.

The Reuters/University of Michigan index reached a level of 72.8 from 72.5 in December. Economists had expected the index to hit 75.

"While consumers anticipated continuing gains in the overall economy, few consumers expected an immediate shift toward the type of positive developments that would improve their job and income prospects," Richard Curtin, director of the surveys, said in a statement.

Nonetheless, the index is still at its highest level since September 2009.

On Thursday, the Commerce Department reported an

unexpected decline in December retail sales

.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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