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Canadian consumer confidence takes unprecedented slump

by Steve Randall on 19 Mar 2020

A measure of Canada’s consumer confidence has reported its biggest drop ever amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Conference Board of Canada’s Index of Consumer Confidence slumped 32.0 points this month, an unprecedented decline. There were no positives, with every region posting double-digit decreases and each question garnered weaker responses.

“COVID-19 is causing anxiety in Canadians and this has implications for Canada’s economy given that consumers have been the main engine of economic growth, said Pedro Antunes, Chief Economist for The Conference Board of Canada. “With many people self-isolating, large gatherings mostly cancelled and tourism activity drying up, many Canadians are staying home, which will have a profound impact on economic growth.”

Atlantic Canada and Quebec each saw their largest monthly declines ever. Ontario, British Columbia and Saskatchewan-Manitoba all saw their second largest, while Alberta saw its fourth largest.

A recent Conference Board report said that the Canadian housing market will still have a “big year” despite the current gloom.

Worsening finances
Nationally, almost 21% of respondents expect their finances to be worse in six months, with less than 20% expecting improvement. This flips around from February when more than 24% were expecting finances to be better in six months while less than 15% were pessimistic.



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