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What you need to know about COVID-19: August 7, 2020
Narrative Research report shows it's the lowest of any province in the Atlantic region, which has collectively experienced a big drop during COVID-19 pandemic
It wasn’t going to be an “if” question.
Given the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be little surprise in learning consumer confidence in Atlantic Canada has dropped over the last few months, leaving creators of a regionally-based index to focus on how much it has slipped.
The short answer, in adverbial form: drastically.
Narrative Research, which came up with an Atlantic Canada Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) 25 years ago, reports the CCI is down this quarter to 77.7, its lowest point in more than two decades.
And when it comes to individual provinces, Newfoundland and Labrador has the region’s lowest level at 71.4.
New Brunswick’s CCI score is 80.8, while Nova Scotia is at 78, down 11.7 points from February, and at its lowest level since early 2009, when the economy was experiencing a recession.
Prince Edward island is at 77.7, down a whopping 30.4 from three months ago.
Collectively, the four provinces are almost 13 points lower than in findings from the last quarter (90.5 in February) and 17.4 lower than in May of last year.
Prior to this quarter, the lowest level of CCI recorded in Atlantic Canada was 82.5 early in 2009.
While Newfoundland and Labrador’s consumer confidence is the lowest in the region, the research firm reports it is far from being a history-making number; it was all the way down to 55.5 in May of 2016, just after the tabling of an austere provincial budget that included cutbacks and tax increases.
When first formulated, the CCI was set at 100 and it has been above that mark in the past. For example, Newfoundland and Labrador's CCI sat at 115 in 2010.
In the lastest index, Atlantic Canadians in urban centres report slightly higher levels of confidence than those living in rural areas, while young adults 18-34 are much more likely to express higher levels of confidence than those in other age categories.
The latest CCI was produced through an independent, quarterly telephone survey, based on a sample of 1,500 adults, conducted from April 29 to May 17. Overall results are deemed accurate to within plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, 95 out of 100 times.