Consumer Confidence levels in Atlantic Canada reach record low amid COVID-19

HALIFAX, May 26, 2020: Consumer Confidence in Atlantic Canada has taken a sharp decline, down to 77.7, the lowest level in more than two decades.

More than 25 years ago Narrative Research created Atlantic Canada’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI). Initially set at 100, this index has proven to be sensitive to national, regional and international events. Results from the most recent Atlantic Quarterly survey (collected in May) show a drop of 12.8 points since the previous quarter (down from 90.5 in February), and a decline of 17.4 points since this time last year.  

Prior to this quarter, the lowest level of CCI recorded was during the Great Recession, at 82.5 (in February 2009).  

“These are unprecedented times in our region, with the pandemic affecting all corners of Atlantic Canada,” said Margaret Brigley, CEO of Narrative Research. “Our challenge now is opening up our economy, so that we can demonstrate the resiliency of our region and our people over the next few quarters.”

Across the region CCI scores for each of the Atlantic Provinces are uniformly low. New Brunswick’s CCI score is 80.8 and Prince Edward Island’s is 77.7, both of which are the lowest ever recorded for these two provinces (with PEI experiencing a 30.4 point drop). Nova Scotia’s CCI declined by 11.7 points to rest at 78.7. Prior to that, the province’s lowest CCI score was recorded in February 2009 (75.5) during the Great Recession. Newfoundland and Labrador has the lowest level of consumer confidence in the region at 71.4, although that province experienced an even lower CCI in May 2016 (55.5), accompanying a tough provincial budget and the pervasive public recognition of the return of enduring hard economic times.

Of the four Atlantic Provinces, PEI has experienced the sharpest drop in CCI of 30.4 points since February. While previously leading other provinces in CCI, PEI is now on par with its Maritime counterparts.    

Across the region, those in urban centres report slightly higher levels of consumer confidence than do rural residents. Atlantic Canadians aged 18-34 are much more likely to express higher levels of confidence than those in older age categories.

These results are part of Narrative Research’s Atlantic Quarterly®, an independent, quarterly telephone survey of Atlantic Canadians, and are based on a sample of 1500 adult Atlantic Canadians, conducted from April 29–May 17, 2020, with overall results accurate to within ± 2.5 percentage points, 95 out of 100 times.

Narrative Research,, is one of Canada’s leading public opinion and market research companies. Founded in 1978 as Corporate Research Associates, Narrative Research is dedicated to providing clients with state-of-the-art research and strategic consulting services. Follow us on Twitter at @EveryNarrative.


For more information, please contact:

Margaret Brigley, CEO, Narrative Research at 902.222.7066,

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