Ontario shoppers gloomy over economic future

Ontario consumers are a

Ontario consumers are a "gloomy" bunch going into the holiday season. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Antonella Artuso, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:02 PM ET

TORONTO ─ Ontario consumers are a "gloomy" bunch going into the holiday season.

The Conference Board of Canada released its consumer confidence index Monday, which shows that people across the country generally don't see their immediate economic future as all that bright.

The sharpest drop in confidence was in Ontario where the index fell 13 points to 69.5.

"The country's most populous province faced substantial headwinds over the past year and confidence levels reflect that as the index is just 0.9 points higher than it was 12 months ago," the report says. "Ontarians remain highly skeptical about future job creation with only 11.4% of the population expecting more jobs going forward."

All three major Ontario political parties have emphasized job creation as the highest priority as the province reels from the loss of high-profile employers such as Heinz and Kelloggs.

The Conference Board says retailers won't be thrilled with the results because it suggests consumers are feeling pessimistic about the economy as they head into the holiday season.

"Consumers judged their finances to be in worse shape than six months ago, they were less positive about future job creation, and a majority said it was a bad time to make a major purchase," a statement said. "The numbers continue to reflect the difficult road the Canadian economy and consumers face going forward."

The only region of Canada where consumer confidence rose was in British Columbia.