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Today's early release of the Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers for January indicated an decline in consumer sentiment from the prior month, with a reading of 71.3. That's the lowest level seen since December 2011 and a decline of 4.93% on an annual basis, while one-year inflation expectations rose to 3.4%.

The Index of Consumer Expectations (a component of the Conference Board's Index of Leading Economic Indicators) also declined, falling to 62.7. The Current Economic Conditions Index slumped to 84.4.

It's important to recognize that consumer sentiment has seriously eroded over the past few months. The current results have remained near levels not seen since 1980, a major indication that consumers are in the process of tightening even further on spending.

Source: University Of Michigan Survey Of Consumers - January 2013 (Early)