“Consumer sentiment has fallen to depths previously reached only in 1982
and 1990, which were both periods of recession in Canada,” said Paul Darby,
Deputy Chief Economist. “The ongoing troubles in equity markets undoubtedly
had a negative effect on consumers’ view of their family financial situations
and future job prospects in their communities.”

“The one area for optimism is that 25.9 per cent of respondents said it
was a good time to make a major purchase, up slightly from the October
results. The increase on this question may indicate that the slide in the
index is bottoming out.”

Regionally, consumer confidence fell in the Prairies by the largest
one-month decline on record. Sentiment in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec
also declined, while the index in Atlantic Canada rose by just 0.2 percentage