Canada consumer sentiment dips on job worries -RBC

* RBC consumer outlook index dips 2 points to 106

* 52 percent describe economy as bad

* Job anxiety rises across the country

TORONTO, Feb 1 (BestGrowthStock) – Canadians became slightly less
optimistic in January about the economy and job prospects and
more concerned about their debt loads, a consumer confidence
survey showed on Monday.

The RBC Monthly Canadian Consumer Outlook Index dipped 2
points to 106 in January from December.

The balance of opinion about the economy has tipped into
negative territory, with 52 percent describing it as bad and 48
percent describing it as good in January. In December, 51
percent viewed it as good and 49 percent viewed it as bad.

Also, 56 percent of Canadians expect the economy to improve
over the next year, down from 60 percent in December. RBC
attributed the reduction in optimism to more Canadians planning
to hold off on major purchases such as cars, vacations and
appliances due to current economic conditions.

The percentage of people who expect the economy to get
worse remained unchanged at 17 percent.

Data last week showed Canada’s economic recovery picked up
speed in November and stronger than expected growth fueled
expectations of a solid fourth quarter, while this week’s
employment figures should show further improvement.
[ID:nN29201456] (ECONCA: )

Slightly more than 1 in 4 Canadians, or 26 percent, say
that a member of their household is worried about losing their
job or being laid off, up from 21 percent in December. Job
anxiety rose in every province.

Nearly 60 percent of respondents were worried about their
debt level, although those older than 55 expressed less
concern, likely because fewer of them are still carrying heavy
debt loads.

The survey comes weeks after the Bank of Canada urged
caution on household debt. Governor Mark Carney has been
reminding Canadians to manage their personal finances so they
will still be able to afford in “ordinary times” when the
central bank raises interest rates again. [ID:nBAC002356]

Canadian rates have been at historic lows since April and
the central bank has pledged to hold them there until the end
of June, as long as inflation remains in check.

The RBC index is based on an online survey of 1,014
Canadians, ages 18 and over, conducted between Jan. 8 and 14.
Stock Research

(Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)

Canada consumer sentiment dips on job worries -RBC