Consumer confidence levels in Atlantic Canada reach record lows.

May 31, 2022

Consumer confidence in Atlantic Canada exhibits one of the sharpest drops in Narrative Research’s tracking history, reaching a new low of 60.4.

More than 25 years ago Narrative Research created Atlantic Canada’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI). Consumer confidence measures consumer attitudes and confidence related to spending and economics. It is a highly responsive metric that has shown over time that when consumers are confident, they spend more, which in turn stimulates the economy, and when they are pessimistic, spending declines. Initially set at 100, this index has proven to be sensitive to national, regional, and international events.

Consumer confidence was substantially impacted by the pandemic, hitting a record low in May 2020, and while it had started to recover slowly, it changed course and hit another record low in February 2022. In the past few months, this downward trend continued and consumer confidence has now hit an all time low of 60.4, reflecting one of the sharpest declines in a three-month period, down 13.4 points.

Across the region, consumer confidence levels vary somewhat, although it has declined in all four Atlantic provinces (Nova Scotia: 65.8, down 11.1 points; PEI: 64.1, down 16.4; Newfoundland and Labrador: 56.3, down 9.5 points; New Brunswick: 55.7, down 18.5). This reflects record low levels in all provinces, with the exception of NL, where the CCI was 55.5 in May 2016. Across the region, consumer confidence is highest in Halifax, NS (71.0) and Prince County, PEI (70.1), and these levels also reflect all time lows.  While consumer confidence has dropped across all segments, it is lower among older residents and those with lower household incomes.

“These are unprecedented times in our region, with a multitude of factors impacting the consumer psyche,” said Margaret Brigley, CEO of Narrative Research. “While we are seeing record low unemployment levels and increasing wages, no one is exempt from the dramatic increase in prices that we have experienced in the past few months, from prices in retail stores, at gas pumps, to housing prices or in the cost of services, along with the supply chain challenges.  This significant decline in consumer confidence is reflective of current inflation. Atlantic Canadians are clearly concerned about their current and future financial wellbeing.”

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 1,450 adult Atlantic Canadians, conducted from May 5-24, 2022, with overall results accurate to within ± 2.5 percentage points, 95 out of 100 times.

Narrative Research, is non-partisan and is one of Canada’s leading public opinion and market research companies. Follow us on Twitter @EveryNarrative.

For more information, please contact:

Margaret Brigley, CEO & Partner: 902.493.3830 (W),


Margaret Chapman, COO & Partner at 902.222.4048,

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