Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadians Grow More Pessimistic about Economy, Jobs. except in the West

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadians Grow More Pessimistic about Economy, Jobs. except in the West

Article excerpt

Canadians more pessimistic on economy, jobs

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OTTAWA - Canadians are becoming increasingly pessimistic about the economy and the availability of jobs -- except those in the booming West -- a new survey suggests.

The Conference Board's latest consumer confidence survey for July shows that optimism is waning or remains at very low levels in most regions of the country, except in the prairies and British Columbia.

Nationally, the Ottawa-based think-tank's confidence index slid one point to 85.9 in July, the third consecutive monthly dip.

By contrast, however, the confidence index rose 4.5 points to 107.8 in the prairies -- the highest level in the country. And it remains elevated in British Columbia at 105.9, even though July saw a decline of 9.9 points.

The Conference Board says negative sentiments about the prospects for job creation over the next six months is the key reason for the glum sentiments among many Canadians.

"On a national basis, pessimism about the labour market continues to hamper a true recovery in confidence," wrote Todd Crawford, an economist with the think-tank.

"Although the economy has more than recovered all the jobs it lost during the recession and the unemployment rate has trended down in the past few years, consumers appear not to have noticed, or they have no faith that the trend will continue."

The sentiment is understandable given the recent record on job creation. Statistics Canada reported earlier this month that almost 10,000 jobs were lost in June and that over the past 12 months, a mere 72,000 net jobs were added, the poorest extended performance since the recovery began in July 2009.

Coincidentally, a consumer confidence survey in the United States, where job creation has been strong of late, found the index rising for the third consecutive month to 90.9, the highest reading since October 2007.

"Very encouraging news on U. …

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