Canadian consumers upbeat on finances, economy

OTTAWA, March 8 /CNW/ - Canadian consumers are more confident now than they were in November of last year according to the latest Harris/Decima-Investor's Group Measure of Consumer Confidence. The positive mood also extended to their personal financial wellbeing and their short and medium term outlook - personally and for the Canadian economy.

  • In Canada, the overall measure of consumer confidence increased in the latest wave from 82.8 last November to 86.2 today.  In the US, the measure stands at 77.5, an increase from the 71.6 recorded in the last wave.
  • In terms of how people perceive the last year, 19% indicated they were better off financially compared to a year ago, while 21% feel they are worse off.  This represents a slight improvement from the 16%-23% recorded in the final quarter of 2010.

  • Canadians remain more likely to see good times financially for themselves a year from now than bad.   In total, 31% believe they will be better off a year from now, up from the 27% recorded in the last wave.  Conversely, 13% feel they will be worse off a year from now, essentially unchanged from the 12% recorded in the previous wave.

  • One in four Canadians (24%) sees good times ahead for the economy in the next twelve months, a jump from the 19% who said so in the last wave.  Conversely, 14% see bad times over this same period, the same number that was recorded in the last wave. 

  • A majority (54%) believe there will be good times financially for the Canadian economy in the next 5 years, while 31% believe there will be unemployment and recession over this period.   This split is similar to the 52%-34% recorded last November.

  • Half (51%) believe that now is a good time to make a major purchase.  Nationally, 31% believe it is a bad time to make such a purchase.  In November, this split was 50%-35%.

According to Senior Vice-President Doug Anderson "The rise in consumer confidence can be attributed in large part due to a rise in confidence about the short term outlook for both the economy overall and for the personal outlook of Canadians. This increased confidence in the one-year outlook suggests that Canadians are becoming more comfortable with the trajectory of the economy and their own personal financial situation".

"Stronger consumer confidence is always good news for the economy," said Jack Courtney, Assistant Vice-President, Advanced Financial Planning, at Investors Group. "This is a clear indication that Canadians are gaining comfort with the economic recovery and are returning to more normal spending, saving and investing behaviours."

These data were gathered through teleVox, the company's national telephone omnibus survey for two weeks from February 17 to February 27, 2011 for just over 2,000 completes.  A sample of the same size has a margin of error of 2.2%, 19 times out of 20.


For further information:

Doug Anderson
Senior Vice-President
danderson@harrisdecima.com
harrisdecima.com

Ron Arnst
Director, Media Relations
Investors Group
Ron.Arnst@investorsgroup.com