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Consumer confidence shows March uptick


March 27, 2009
By The Canadian Press

March 27, 2009 – Canadians are starting to feel a little better about the economic
future although consumer confidence remains low, according to a survey
by the Conference Board of Canada.

Canadians are starting to feel a little better about the economic
future although consumer confidence remains low, according to a survey
by the Conference Board of Canada.

The think-tank's confidence
index this month was up 2.7 points from February as slightly fewer
respondents reported being worried about their jobs, while 34.7 per
cent – up 4.6 percentage points – said that now is a good time to make
a major purchase.

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But at 71.5, the index remains well below the
100 level that was common little more than a year ago, and job
insecurity continues to be high.

Ontarians, battered by the
manufacturing slump, were the most pessimistic with an index of 66.3,
while B.C. residents continued to be the most optimistic at 82.6.

Only 20.5 per cent of the 2,000 respondents in the March 5-13 poll
expected their financial situation to improve in the next six months, a
decline of 1.5 points. Most said their situation was unchanged from six
months ago.

"It appears that most people feel unaffected by the
ongoing Canadian recession and believe they will continue to be
unaffected going forward," the Conference Board said.

There was
a slight improvement on the jobs question, with the proportion
expecting fewer jobs six months from now falling by 3.7 percentage
points. But 50.8 per cent still predicted the job situation will
deteriorate.

And the think-tank noted the poll was conducted before Statistics Canada revealed 83,000 jobs vanished in February.


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