Consumer confidence increases slightly as inflation rate slows: Poll

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After Canada’s inflation rate slowed unexpectedly in February to 2.8%, the March Canadian Maru Household Outlook Index was set at 87, up one point from February and at its highest level since May 2023.

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“Last month’s metaphor that consumer confidence was hanging by a thread is still apt, but its reprieve has been primarily because Canadians have an underlying belief that the national economy will improve,” Maru said in a news release.

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“This sentiment is now on an upward trend of six percentage points since last October (from 30% to 36% today) and is the only major metric offsetting a personal worry over day-to-day finances that remains, carried over from last month, at its highest level (55%) since tracking of this measure began back in July 2020.”

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Maru also found this month that fewer Canadians feel their personal financial situation has worsened since last month, dropping from 26% to 23%. Sixty-five per cent said their financial situation had remained the same, while the remainder (12%) said they had seen an improvement in their financial well-being.

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More Canadians — 36%, up from 33% last month — said the Canadian economy is moving in the right direction.

“More Canadians — 19% from 18% last month — indicate that they will purchase big-ticket items like a car or furniture with those most likely to do so moving from 5% last month to 6% today,” Maru said. “This metric has moved up two percentage points since last November (from 17% to 19%) and ties with the previous highest levels achieved since tracking began in July 2020 (in October 2020, July 2021, November 2022 and October 2023).”

However, 55% of Canadians had the highest level of worry about their personal/family day-to-day finances, which was the same as last month.

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