Consumer confidence declines again in December

    “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.