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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Consumer confidence in Canada slipped for the fourth consecutive month in September, pushed down by the slowing pace of the economic recovery, the Conference Board of Canada said on Wednesday.
The board's consumer confidence index fell 1.2 points to 78.1, a full 18.5 points below where it was at the start of the year. Recent Statistics Canada data show the recovery is becoming increasingly patchy.
Atlantic Canada was the only region to record an increase in confidence. Quebec remained relatively unchanged, while all other parts of the country posted declines.
The board said 23.2 percent of respondents reported their financial situation had worsened in the previous six months, up 0.5 percentage points from August. Only 13.2 percent said their circumstances had improved, a drop of 1.4 points.
Curiously, the proportion who expected their financial situation to improve over the next six months increased by 0.6 percentage points to 24.5 percent. Those who thought it would worsen fell 1.2 percentage points to 14.4 percent.
Asked whether it was a good or bad time to make a major purchase, only 42.1 percent indicated it was a good time, down 0.8 percentage points from August. Those who said it was a bad time rose 0.9 percentage points to 46.9 percent.
The survey of consumer confidence was conducted between Sept 2 and Sept 12, and the margin of error was plus or minus 2.2 percentage points, the board said.
Reporting by David Ljunggren, editing by Peter Galloway