Consumer confidence plummets to lowest level since 1982

    OTTAWA, Oct. 17 /CNW Telbec/ - Canadian consumer confidence fell in
October to its lowest level in more than a quarter-century, according to the
Conference Board's Index of Consumer Confidence - October 2008.
    The survey of 2,000 Canadians was conducted from October 2 to October 8,
during the global financial turmoil.
    "The global credit crunch and major stock market declines clearly had an
effect on consumer confidence in October," said Pedro Antunes, Director,
National and Provincial Forecast. "In addition, consumers felt that they would
be worse off in six months, indicating concerns that the financial crisis
would not be resolved quickly."
    Although consumer confidence declined significantly when Canadians were
surveyed in early October, there have been indications over the past couple of
days that global credit markets are beginning to loosen. However, it could
take months before lending conditions return to normal.
    After three consecutive months of increases, the index fell 11.9 points
to 73.9 (2002=100). That is the lowest level since the third quarter of 1982,
when the Canadian economy was mired in a recession.
    All components of the index declined in October. Respondents said it was
not a good time to make a major purchase and their view about their current
and future financial situations also deteriorated. Consumers were less
optimistic about future employment prospects for the fifth time in six months,
and the October decline was the largest this year.
    Confidence fell drastically in Ontario-from 84.5 in September to 67.9 in
October-the largest monthly decrease for the province on record. In Quebec,
the index fell by 10.2 points, its seventh decline in eight months. Confidence
in British Columbia tumbled by 12.5 percentage points. On the Prairies and in
Atlantic Canada, confidence fell by 6.1 and 4.9 percentage points,

For further information:

For further information: Brent Dowdall, Media Relations, (613) 526-3090
ext. 448,

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