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Sharp decline in consumer confidence in Quebec drives modest drop in national index

Ottawa - The Conference Board of Canada's Index of Consumer Confidence was relatively unchanged in September 2014, falling a modest 0.4 percentage points to 87.9 (2002 = 100). But although the drop was small, it does mark the fourth decline in...


Ottawa – The Conference Board of Canada’s Index of Consumer Confidence was relatively unchanged in September 2014, falling a modest 0.4 percentage points to 87.9 (2002 = 100). But although the drop was small, it does mark the fourth decline in five months, indicating a growing frustration with Canada’s stagnant job market in recent months. Furthermore, this month’s decline leaves the index 3.0 percentage points below where it was at this time last year — the first year-over-year decline since January.

On a national basis, consumers were slightly less optimistic about their future financial situations and were also less likely to make a major purchase, compared with last month. The decline, however, was due entirely to a huge drop in confidence in Quebec. Substantial gains in Atlantic Canada and the Prairies helped to offset most of this decline.

While consumers may be feeling more optimistic about their future finances, they are not as hopeful when it comes to jobs. Just 15.8% of respondents said they expect more jobs in their communities six months from now. That is unchanged from last month’s survey and slightly lower than at the same time last year. Moreover, 22.8% said they expect there to be fewer jobs in six months — 0.5 percentage points higher than in August and 4.0 percentage points higher than at the same time last year.

This month’s survey was conducted between September 4 and September 14, and the margin of error is plus or minus 2.1%.