June 22, 2009 / 2:34 PM / in 8 years

Canadian consumer sentiment up for fourth month

TORONTO (Reuters) - Consumer confidence in Canada ticked higher in June as optimism about personal finance and job prospects rose, the Conference Board of Canada said on Monday.

<p>Shoppers are evacuated from a Bay department store in downtown Montreal August 24, 2007. REUTERS/Shaun Best</p>

The Index of Consumer Confidence rose 0.7 points to 82.1, the fourth straight monthly increase, the research organization said. Altogether, confidence climbed 10.6 points in the second quarter.

In June, 12.8 percent of respondents said their finances had improved in the past six months, up 1.4 points, and 28.1 said their finances had worsened, down 1.3 points.

The Conference Board said 27 percent of respondents felt their financial situation will improve over the coming six months, up 2.2 points.

Expectations about job opportunities over the next six months also edged higher. Positive responses were more than double the record low hit in December, reaching 16.9 percent, while the share of respondents who saw fewer jobs fell 4.1 points to 33.7 percent.

“While negative responses were down, this did not translate into a big gain on the positive side, as the share of people who felt employment opportunities would remain at their current levels climbed to 43.9 percent,” the Conference Board said.

Fewer respondents, 41.3 percent, said now is the right time to make a major purchase such as a car or home, down 3.7 points. That snapped a string of seven consecutive increases on that question.

At the same time, 47.7 percent of consumers felt it was now a bad time to make a major purchase, up 3.2 points relative to May.

The survey of 2,000 Canadians was conducted between June 4 and June 14, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percent.

Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway

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