Canadian consumer confidence results mixed to begin 2013

WINNIPEG, March 28, 2013 /CNW/ - In the first quarter of 2013, the Investors Group - Harris Decima consumer confidence index stands at 77.6 in Canada, a slight increase from 75.3 in March of 2012 but a small dip from the 79.0 in November of 2012.  In the last calendar year, consumer confidence in Canada has stayed remarkably stable, shifting with a margin of less than two points each quarter.

  • One in four (25%) feel they will be better off financially a year from now.  Conversely, 13% feel they will be worse off.    In the last quarter of 2012, this split was 24%-12%. Those living on the Prairies, men, and those between the ages of 25 and 44 are most likely to feel they'll be better off financially a year from now.
  • Just over one in ten Canadians (13%) feel the next year will bring good times financially for the Canadian economy.  One in five (20%) feel there will be bad times financially in the next twelve months.  This split remains unchanged from what was recorded in November. Residents of Alberta and those under the age of 25 are most likely to be optimistic about the year ahead.
  • More than four in ten (43%) believe that Canada will have continuous periods of good times over the next five years.   A further 41% feel the next five years will be a time of unemployment and recession.   In November, this split was 47%-38%.   Those living on the Prairies, men, those living in urban areas, and those with household incomes exceeding $80k/year are most likely to feel the next five years will bring good times financially to Canada.
  • Nationally, 44% feel it is a good time to make a major purchase, while 38% feel it is a bad time to do so.  In November, this split was 46%-25%.  A majority of those in Quebec (50%) and Manitoba and Saskatchewan (55%) feel it is a good time to make a major purchase.
  • Canadians are relatively split on where they stand financially compared to a year ago.  While 17% feel they are better off than they were a year ago, 19% feel they are worse off.  In the last quarter of 2012, this split was 18%-22%.  In the first quarter, those most likely to say they are better off financially compared to a year ago are Albertans (23%), those with household incomes exceeding $100k/year, and those under the age of 45.

According to Chairman Allan Gregg; "Most Canadians are clearly more optimistic about the mid-term than the short. The fact that our confidence and well-being data are more or less the unchanged over the last few years suggests that consumers similarly see their financial situation as flat-lining - neither getting particularly better or worse. As a result, their tendency seems to be to withhold judgment about the short term while hoping for the best, long term."

"The slight increase in the number of Canadians who feel they will be better off financially a year from now provides a tinge of optimism," said Gaeten Ruest, Assistant Vice-President, Product and Corporate Research at Investors Group. "Overall, Canadians appear to be following the conservative, deliberate path that we are very familiar with."

These data were gathered through teleVox, the company's national telephone omnibus survey for two weeks from February 21 and March 4, 2013 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.

  Better off a year from
now
Worse off a year from
now
One year outlook 25% 13%
  Good times Bad times
1 year economic
outlook
13% 20%
     
5 year economic
outlook
43% 41%
  Good time Bad time
Making a purchase 44% 38%
  Better off than a year
ago
Worse off than a year
ago
Compared to one yr ago 17% 19%

 

SOURCE: Investors Group Inc.

For further information:

Allan Gregg
Chairman
agregg@harrisdecima.com
harrisdecima.com

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

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Investors Group Inc.

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