Canadian Consumer Confidence

The Conference Board of Canada has just released its Index of Consumer Confidence.

The monthly Index of Consumer Confidence is constructed from responses to four attitudinal questions posed to a random sample of Canadian households. The latest results are based on over 2,000 telephone interviews conducted in early December 2008.

According to the News release:

The Index of Consumer Confidence stumbled for the third consecutive month in December, falling 3.3 points to 67.7 (2002 = 100), the Conference Board reported today.

“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.”

The one bright spot is apparently that people are now better able than a month ago to make major purchases (just in time for Christmas). A lot of the benefit from these purchases will go outside of Canada.

The Full Report is available upon free sign-up for the Conference Board’s e-library.

The Conference Board of Canada report Fixing the Recession: Policy Guidance for Canada and Governments Everywhere released last week gives recommendations for what the Canada can do.

According to Glen Hodgson, Senior VP and Chief Economist, in today’s press conference, the recession is partly psychological–that it is partly caused just by the mind-set of Canadians. He believes the government needs to bring forward a stimulus package equivalent to 1% of our GDP to correct the situation. If you missed the press conference, they have also released an Interview with Glen Hodgson(3 min. mp3 audio file).

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