November 24, 2008

Canadian consumer confidence down again

The Conference Board of Canada said its index of consumer confidence fell for a second straight month in November to previous recession levels.

The non-government agency in Ottawa said the index fell 2.9 points to 71. That was on the heels of a an 11.9 percent tumble in October to 72, the board said in a release.

The figures are based on an index that was weighted at 100 in 2002.

Consumer sentiment has fallen to depths previously reached only in 1982 and 1990, which were both periods of recession in Canada, said Paul Darby, deputy chief economist.

The report cited global equity market downturns and employment uncertainty as the driving force behind the latest confidence decline.

The one area for optimism is that 25.9 percent of respondents said it was a good time to make a major purchase, up slightly from the October results, Darby wrote. The increase on this question may indicate that the slide in the index is bottoming out.

The national survey of an undisclosed number of participants was conducted Nov. 6-13, and has a margin of error of 2.19 percentage points, the release said.