CREA 12/22/2009 - National consumer confidence ended the year 2009 on a stronger footing compared to pre-recession levels, despite having edged down slightly the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter. According to the Conference Board of Canada’s index of consumer confidence, confidence eased slightly in the fourth quarter for the first time in three quarterly periods. The decrease in confidence reflects weakening sentiment about making major purchases.
Consumer confidence in Quebec eased in the fourth quarter of 2009 but remains well above levels recorded at the height of the economic recession, according to the Conference Board of Canada’s index of consumer confidence. The decrease in confidence reflects weaker sentiment about household budgets and about making major purchases.
Despite having softened compared to the previous quarter, the balance of sentiment about making major purchases, such as a home or a car, remained positive in the fourth quarter. This represents the third consecutive quarter in which the balance of sentiment about making major purchases stayed positive.
A positive balance of opinion means more households said it was a good time to buy a big-ticket item, such as a home or car, than said it was a bad time to do so. This indicator is an important factor underlying the housing market.
The balance of sentiment about job growth prospects turned positive for the first time since the beginning of 2008.
The balance of sentiment about the outlook for household budgets for the next six months eased in the fourth quarter, but nevertheless remained positive.