A new survey says Canadian consumer confidence at the beginning of 2014 was higher than it was one year ago but slightly lower than at the end of 2013, reports the Canadian Press.

The Harris/Decima-Investors Group's overall consumer confidence index for the first quarter of 2014 stood at 81.2.

That's up from 77.6 in the first quarter of 2013 but down from 84.4 in the fourth quarter of 2013, which marked a three-year high for the index.

The index tracks responses to consumer attitudes about what lies ahead for the economy and their own financial situation.

Fewer than one in five of those responding to the latest survey, 18 per cent, said they were better off financially compared to a year ago -- down from 21 per cent in the fourth quarter.

There were also 22 per cent who said they were worse off financially now than a year ago, compared with 18 per cent in the previous survey.

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