Ottawa, December 22 — The Index of Consumer Confidence
stumbled for the third consecutive month in December, falling 3.3 points to 67.7 (2002 = 100), the Conference Board reported today.
“On a monthly basis, the index has now dropped significantly below early 1990s levels. Only during the recession of 1981–82 have we seen lower levels of confidence,” said Glen Hodgson, Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist. “Despite the rapid fall in gasoline prices across the country, consumers continue to be gloomy about their financial situation.”
Again this month, consumers indicated that they are financially worse off today than six months ago, and they expect to be worse off still six months from now. Respondents also viewed the job situation in their communities negatively.
There was one bright spot in the survey. For the second consecutive month, an increasing percentage of respondents said it was a good time to make a big-ticket purchase.
Confidence fell in all regions of the country in December, ranging from a marginal decline in the Western provinces to a 7.8 point drop in Atlantic Canada. The survey of 2000 Canadians was conducted between December 4 and 12.
Fixing the Recession: Policy Guidance for Canadian Leaders
, published by the Conference Board last week, outlines bold policy actions to deal with the economic downturn.