OTTAWA - The Conference Board says consumer confidence in Canada is on the rise, increasing for the seventh straight month in September.

The monthly survey finds confidence rising in many of the key indicators, including sentiments among Canadians about their finances, job prospects and about their ability to make big purchases.

The index rose 2.5 points to 90.9 out of 100, the seventh consecutive monthly bump, something that has not happened since 2002.

As well, the percentage of consumers who said it was a good time to make a major purchase rose to the highest level in almost two years - 49.9 per cent

But while the results are yet another indication that the economy is healing, the survey also shows that consumers still exhibit symptoms of shell shock from the deep recession and are not yet confident in declaring the all-clear.

For instance, the number of respondents who view their current financial circumstances favourably increased slightly during September, but so did the number who were pessimistic about their future situation.

The majority, 53.9 per cent, say they expect no change in their financial circumstances in the next six months.

On the question of future employment opportunities, the index moved into positive territory for the first time in 18 months.

But again, the numbers are not high.

About 23 per cent say they expect more jobs will be available in the next six months, just one point above those who expect the employment climate to deteriorate.

At about 91, the overall index is well below the 100 reading that had existed in Canada through most of the decade before the recession hit last fall.

The survey of 2,000 Canadians was conducted in the first two weeks of September and is considered accurate plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.

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