US consumers lose confidence as fiscal cliff nears - Article Photos 1/2

In this Friday, Dec. 21, 2012, photo, shoppers walk past a store at a mall in Salem, N.H. U.S. consumer confidence tumbled in December, driven lower by fears of sharp tax increases and government spending cuts set to take effect next week. The Conference Board said Thursday that its consumer confidence index fell this month to 65.1, down from 71.5 in November. That's second straight decline and the lowest level since August. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)