Consumer confidence rises in December

OTTAWA, Dec. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - Following two consecutive monthly declines, consumer confidence rose by 3.7 percentage points in December to 82.8 (2002 = 100), according to the Conference Board's Index of Consumer Confidence-December 2009.

"These results indicate that Canadians still have mixed views on the strength of the economic recovery," said Pedro Antunes, Director, National and Provincial Forecast. "Results were mixed depending on the region of the country and on the question asked. Optimism about current finances and employment in the near future increased, but sentiment deteriorated on the outlook for future finances and whether it's a good time to make a major purchase."

This month's increases means that the index is 26.2 points higher than it was in January 2009. Until its consecutive declines in October and November, the index had increased for seven consecutive months.

Atlantic Canada produced this month's biggest regional gain, climbing 10.8 percentage points, while Ontario also saw a significant increase of 7.5 points. Confidence in the Prairie region increased for a fifth consecutive month, leaving Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta as the most optimistic provinces in Canada. The indexes in British Columbia and Quebec fell by marginal amount in each province.

This month's survey of 2,000 Canadians was conducted from December 3 to December 13, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 per cent

The responses on future employment continue to show the largest increase. When asked how they felt the job situation would be in their communities in six months time, 24.1 per cent said that they expected more jobs, an increase of 4.5 points compared to November.

These results corroborate the trend in the Conference Board's Help Wanted Index-December 2009, which saw the number of new jobs posted online rise for the fourth consecutive month. The Help Wanted Index rose 4.1 points in December, its best showing since June. Increases in new job postings occurred in all provinces except for Newfoundland and Labrador, with the strongest growth taking place in British Columbia, Quebec and Nova Scotia.

SOURCE Conference Board of Canada

For further information: For further information: Brent Dowdall, Media Relations, Tel.: (613) 526-3090 ext. 448, E-mail: corpcomm@conferenceboard.ca


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