Consumer confidence crucial to reversing downturn – Metro US

Consumer confidence crucial to reversing downturn

Bolstering consumer confidence is a must these days, said Ian Russell, President and CEO, Investment Industry Association of Canada.

He told the Halifax Chamber of Commerce yesterday that consumer confidence is essential for exporting.

“The downturn in consumer confidence has reduced our exports to the United States, especially commodities. Obviously that’s important here, as Nova Scotia sends 78 per cent of its internationally marketed goods to the U.S.”

The downward economic collapse has been dramatic, but Russell said the recovery is going to be a much longer process.

“The stock market declines have prompted anxiety, at times a borderline sense of panic. But it is not the 1930s,” he said.

“The economic fundamentals are sound, and our financial institutions are in good shape. Unlike the 30s, Canadians still have confidence in our financial institutions.”

The stimulus package offered by the federal government has promise, but Russell said consumer-friendly tax cuts were missed.

“A reduction in capital gains tax would encourage risk-taking by investors, whose appetite for risk has been devastated by the collapse in financial markets,” he said.

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