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Canadian Consumer Confidence index falls 11.4 pointsWednesday, March 18, 2015 > 09:59:06
(Home Goods Online)
Its latest survey reveals that Canadians are less willing to make a major purchase, are worried about both their current and future finances and worried about the job market, according to the Conference Board of Canada's Index of Consumer Confidence, which fell 11.4 points in February.
The index was set at 95.6 after last month's telephone survey, which was conducted between February 2 and 13. It was set to 100 in 2014.
Julie Adès, a senior economist with the board, noted that almost all provincial indexes posted a decline in February. The only exception was Quebec, which gained 3.5 points thanks to improved responses to the major purchases question. Ontario, Atlantic Canada and Alberta recorded the steepest declines in their indexes.
Those saying they were worse off financially now than they were six months ago increased from 20.9% to 23% in February. At the same time, those saying they were better off declined slightly - from 17.3% to 16.7%. Adès noted the balance of opinion deteriorated on this question.
The increased pessimism about current finances was most felt in Ontario, B.C., Alberta, and Atlantic Canada.
"Responses to the future finances question followed a similar pattern," she wrote, noting the percentage expecting to be better off in six months fell slightly from 24.1% to 23.5%. Meanwhile, those expecting to be worse off increased from 14.3% to 16.5%.
Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan-Manitoba, and Atlantic Canada were the regions driving the deterioration in the balance of opinion on the future finances question.
Canadians are also more pessimistic about whether this is a good time to make a major purchase - such as a house, car, furniture or major appliance. The share saying now is a bad time increased in February from 38.8% to 42.8%.
At the same time, the share saying now is a good time fell slightly, leading to a deterioration in the national balance of opinion for this question. The increase in pessimism was greatest in Atlantic Canada, Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia. Quebec and the Saskatchewan-Manitoba region, on the other hand, saw an improvement in the balance of opinion for this question.
The share expecting fewer jobs going forward jumped in February, from 30% to 39.6%. The number expecting more jobs fell from 9.7% to 7.7%. The increased pessimism was most evident in Ontario, the Saskatchewan-Manitoba region, and Alberta.