US consumer confidence down sharply in January

US consumer confidence fell sharply for the second straight month in January, 

with rising taxes cited as a likely reason for the surge in gloom. 

The board's consumer confidence index sank to 58.6 in January from 66.7 in December, far below the 2012 peak of 73.1 in October. 

The January level was also below where the index stood in January 2012, as readings on consumer views of the current situation and the outlook both diminished. 

It was the third consecutive monthly decline in confidence.