Confidence levels have generally been trending upward

National consumer confidence recorded an increase in January 2011, according to the Conference Board of Canada’s index of consumer confidence. Confidence levels have generally been trending upward on a monthly basis since the recent low during the third quarter of 2010.

The increase in consumer confidence largely reflects improving sentiment about household budgets, particularly from the Prairie region and Ontario. Sentiment about the outlook for household budgets increased from December 2010.

The balance of sentiment for job growth prospects rose further into positive territory in January, after some uncertainty in the past six months. A positive balance of opinion means more households said they expect the employment outlook to improve in the next six months than said they think it will worsen.

Many of those that had been expecting fewer jobs going forward are now saying they expect employment levels to remain unchanged, suggesting an increasing number of people are feeling more secure about the job market. Sentiment about job growth prospects improved in Ontario, and the Prairie and Atlantic regions.


The national balance of sentiment about making major purchases, such as a home or a car, moved up abruptly in January 2010, with sentiment improving across all regions except for Atlantic Canada. Sentiment had previously been trending steadily lower, and had been in negative territory since March 2010. The increase in January 2011 marked a sharp departure from this trend and lifted the balance to an even position. An even balance of sentiment means that as many survey respondents said it was a good time to buy a big-ticket item, such as a home or car, as said it was a bad time to do so. This indicator is an important factor underlying the housing market.

Source: Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).



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