No surprise that the latest measures show consumer confidence in Canada is at the lowest ebb since the recession of 1981-82. According to the Conference Board of Canada, we feel that we are now worse off than we were six months ago. And we expect to be even worse off six months from now.
People cite uncertainty about their employment prospects, which feeds directly into their ability to manage their current debt load and their willingness to spend a nickel that’s not necessary.
But arguably, the political games, the search for scapegoats and the general absence of leadership is exacerbating the lack of confidence.
The fragile political balance, means that compromise and deal-making trump bold action. On the corporate front, multinational ownership and offshore head offices have also heightened the sense of a lack of control. And on top of that, the witch hunting, finger pointing and blaming has begun.
Economists say that lack of confidence will translate into the need for an even bigger government stimulus initiative to kick start the economy. Effective leadership is never cheap, but for once we may actually be able to put a pricetag on it.