BUSINESS
04/24/2012 02:27 EDT | Updated 07/16/2012 05:02 EDT

Consumer Confidence: Canadians Growing Worried About Jobs, Personal Finances, Conference Board Says

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Consumer confidence reversed course in April as Canadians continued to worry about jobs and their personal finances, according to the latest survey by the Conference Board of Canada.

After three consecutive months of increase, the index fell 4.5 percentage points from March to 75 in April.

That is the lowest level on the 100-point scale in more two years, the private think-tank said Tuesday.

The decrease was driven by strongly negative responses on future job prospects and lower expectations about making major purchases.

Respondents who believed there would be fewer jobs in six months rose 5.3 points to 27.8 per cent, more than offsetting the 20 per cent who expected to see more jobs.

All regions of the country were more pessimistic in April except Quebec, where the confidence level had declined in March.

The attitude of Canadians toward their financial situations improved slightly, but was still weak compared with the depths of the 2008-2009 recession.

Those who expected their family's finances to improve over the next six months was 23.4 per cent, a drop of 0.6 percentage points from March and down from a year ago.

Meanwhile, the proportion of respondents who said they expected their finances to worsen climbed 1.4 points to 18.7 per cent.

The survey was conducted April 4-12 and was said to have a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.

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