Report examines Canadian's behaviour and outlook post-recession and finds the
housing market is key factor driving economic optimism
TORONTO, April 27 /CNW/ - When it comes to what determines their
financial outlook, a new study reveals the vast majority of Canadians
put their eggs in one basket: real estate.
According to Bensimon Byrne's latest Consumerology Report, Canadians are still coping with the effects of the recession yet are
feeling optimistic their personal finances. When asked about their
personal financial situation now compared to pre-recession 49 per cent
report their living expenses have increased, only 31 per cent are
earning more money, and only 22 per cent report say their investments
have increased. Despite these figures, more than half (58 per cent) say
their personal finances are better today than they were before the
recession and the vast majority (81 per cent) indicate they expect to
be doing even better one year from now.
The findings point to an obvious question: what's driving this
post-recession optimism? And the answer appears to be the Canadian
housing market; with the majority of Canadians (58 per cent) saying
their house or condo is worth more than pre-recession.
"This study shows that people are still feeling the effects of the
recession hangover but their outlook is improving because of the rising
value of their homes," said Jack Bensimon, President of the
Toronto-based advertising agency. "Ultimately, the results show that
people's confidence is highly reliant on a strong housing market. Most
Canadians continue to feel the cost-of-living pinch and have not seen
improvements in their incomes, job security or growth in their
investments, and yet, because of the increase in the value of their
home, their perception of their own net worth is improved."
Each quarter, the Consumerology Report tracks consumer opinions about
the economy, individual financial expectations, consumer spending
intentions, and attitudes toward key national issues. Commissioned by
the Toronto-based advertising agency Bensimon Byrne and fielded by The
Gandalf Group, the purpose of this edition was to understand the
consumer financial situation, post-recession attitudes and behaviours,
and consumer economic outlook.
Beyond the overall optimism Canadians are feeling about the economy, the
report also revealed Canadians are feeling the financial squeeze from
rising grocery and gas prices, along with increased taxes and utility
costs. Canadians are also focused on reducing their debt and building a
savings safety net - a reality that will cause many consumers to cut
back on discretionary expenditures, especially those related to
The report also finds that even so-called essentials are not 'recession
proof'. During the recession, even items like groceries and gas
experienced a decline. The categories hit hardest were vacations,
clothes, eating out, and fitness. Now, these areas are starting to
rebound but bars and live sporting events are still victims of the
recession with people reluctant to open their wallets for those
"Clearly, as the economy recovers the culture of thrift and fragility is
persisting in select areas," concluded Bensimon.
Additional Survey Highlights
More than half of Canadians are doing better today than they were doing
a year ago and better than they were pre-recession.
More than half (59 per cent) say the Canadian economy is in a period of
More than three quarters (77 per cent) of Canadians think a year from
now the economy will be stronger.
When looking at financial factors in their life, people feel most
positive about the value of their home (73 per cent) and least positive
about their retirement income (35 per cent).
The cost of healthcare/medications, mortgage/rent, and cable/satellite
TV are household budget pressures for a clear majority of Canadians.
Lower income Canadians are particularly stressed by two essentials -
food costs and medical/prescription drug costs.
About the Survey
The Consumerology Report is a quarterly survey commissioned by Toronto-based advertising agency
Bensimon Byrne. This quarter's survey was conducted in English and
French by The Gandalf Group amongst 1,500 Canadians. The questionnaire
was conducted in French and English over the period of March 24-29,
2011. Previous editions of the Consumerology Report have covered a variety of topics including: The Impact of Macro-economic
Trends; The Impact of Environmental Issues; New Canadians, New
Consumers; Corporate Social Responsibility; Retirement; and Economic
Trends and Consumer Behaviour. All reports can be found at www.consumerology.ca.
About Bensimon Byrne
Bensimon Byrne is a privately owned, full-service, Canadian advertising
agency. Established in 1993, the agency has worked with a host of
blue-chip companies and brands, producing some of Canada's most
effective and memorable advertising.
SOURCE Bensimon Byrne
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To view the full report:
For more information or to arrange an interview:
Tara Wood, Narrative Advocacy Media, Office: 416-644-4133 / Cell: 416-301-9760, firstname.lastname@example.org