Conference Board says consumer confidence posts big drop in October

OTTAWA – The Conference Board of Canada says its consumer confidence index in October posted its largest drop since the price of oil first dropped below US$30 a barrel in January.

The Ottawa-based think-tank says the national index fell 6.3 points last month to 96.7.

The survey found that, relative to September, more respondents said their household finances were worse than they were six months ago and expectations also waned about future financial conditions.

Consumers in every region of the country also said they were less likely to buy a big-ticket item, such as a home or a car.

The balance of opinion regarding employment prospects was little changed.

The index in Alberta fell 15.4 points in October to 38.5, while the Saskatchewan-Manitoba region dropped 9.8 points to 74.1.

Quebec fell 9.0 points to 120.0, Ontario slipped 0.5 of a point to 101.2 and British Columbia dropped 8.7 points to 114.8.

Atlantic Canada was the only region to post a gain as it climbed 11.0 points to 129.7.

The online survey was conducted between Oct. 3 and Oct. 13.