Conference Board of Canada says consumer confidence index down in November

OTTAWA – Consumer confidence has fallen for the second consecutive month as Canadians increasingly worry about their current financial situation, the Conference Board of Canada said Friday.

The think-tank said its consumer confidence index fell 0.8 points to 80.3 per cent for November, with sentiment increasingly negative on questions regarding current circumstances.

“However, Canadians were also more confident that the economy is turning around and that better times are likely going forward,” the board said.

The survey found 16.7 per cent answered positively when asked if their financial situation had improved or worsened over the past six months. That compared with 17.2 per cent last month.

Meanwhile, the number who felt their situation was worse increased to 19.4 per cent, up from 17.8 per cent.

The report said attitudes toward major purchases were also pessimistic.

Of those asked if now was a good time to make a major purchase, 38.5 per cent said it was, down from 40.3 per cent a month ago. Those who believed now was a bad time to make a major purchase increased 3.9 percentage points to 49.9 per cent.

However, the report suggested that Canadians were also more confident that the economy was turning around and those who expected their financial situation to improve over the next six months increased 1.1 percentage points to 23.8 per cent.

Those who expect their finances to worsen over the next six months held steady at 14.5 per cent.

Confidence in the job market also improved with 17.5 per cent expecting there to be more jobs in their community in six months, up 0.8 percentage points.

Regionally, B.C. saw the largest drop in confidence, falling 12.5 points to 91.2. Quebec fell 5.7 points to 67.9, while the Prairies dropped 4.4 points to 105.1. The Conference Board set the base index at 100 in 2002.

Ontario posted the largest increase for the month as it rose 5.5 points to 75.2, its highest level in more than a year, the board said.

Atlantic Canada increased 4.4 points to 66.9.

The survey was conducted between Nov. 1 and Nov. 12 and is considered by pollsters to have a margin of error is plus or minus 2.1 percentage points.