Not conclusive but a bit of evidence the FICA hike is beginning to take a toll.
January 29 — Says Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board: Consumer Confidence posted another sharp decline in January, erasing all of the gains made through 2012. Consumers are more pessimistic about the economic outlook and, in particular, their financial situation. The increase in the payroll tax has undoubtedly dampened consumers spirits and it may take a while for confidence to rebound and consumers to recover from their initial paycheck shock. Consumers appraisal of current conditions deteriorated in January. Those claiming business conditions are good declined to 16.7 percent from 17.2 percent, while those stating business conditions are bad increased to 27.4 percent from 26.3 percent. Consumers assessment of the labor market has also grown more negative. Those saying jobs are plentiful declined to 8.6 percent from 10.8 percent, while those claiming jobs are hard to get increased to 37.7 percent from 36.1 percent.