TORONTO, Feb. 9, 2012 /CNW/ - Quebecers are among the least optimistic
in the country that the national economy or their own personal
financial situation will improve over 2012, according to the quarterly RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook Index (RBC CCO) released today.
Only 20 per cent expect to see positive changes in the Canadian economy
over the next year - well below the national average of 32 per cent.
One-in-three (34 per cent) anticipate their own personal financial
situation will improve over the same period (compared to 36 per cent
Quebecers are among the most focused in Canada in terms of the actions
they are taking to manage their finances. More than a third (34 per
cent) intend to reduce their debts, 36 per cent plan to spend less and
20 per cent want to save or invest more over the next year. Some
Quebecers (17 per cent) expect to take all of these actions.
"The prevailing mood may not be as optimistic, but Quebecers are taking
action and control their financial futures," said Patrice Sieber,
vice-president and regional operating officer, Quebec, RBC. "They know
the importance of controlling their own costs. This goes hand-in-hand
with having a good financial plan to support their short-term goals as
well as their long-term ones."
According to the RBC CCO, jobs are also on the minds of Quebecers, with
20 per cent - the third-highest level in the country - reporting that
they are worried about someone in their household losing their job or
being laid off.
The most recent RBC Economics Provincial Outlook highlighted employment concerns as one of the reasons for slower growth
outlook for the province this year.
"The prospects for a more decisive turnaround during 2012 are being
tempered by a significant deterioration in Quebec's job market
recently," observed Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief
economist, RBC. "We anticipate that the weakness in Quebec's job market
will continue to diminish over the coming months."
The RBC CCO found that more than a quarter (26 per cent) of Quebec
residents are taking the steps to upgrade their job skills, compared to
22 per cent across Canada. However, Quebecers also are the most
hesitant to move in search of new employment. Only 12 per cent said
they would move to a different part of the country to change careers or
find new work, and almost a third (32 per cent) stated they would not
move for employment reasons.
Four-in-ten Quebecers (41 per cent) named Alberta as the top job-creating region in
the country, followed by Ontario (24 per cent) and their home province
(22 per cent).
The RBC CCO is Canada's most comprehensive consumer assessment of the
economy, personal financial situation and economic and purchasing
expectations. Other provincial highlights from the February 2012 RBC
Personal Finance: Compared to the same time last year, 44 per cent of Quebecers believe
they are standing still, 32 per cent say they are getting ahead and 25
per cent feel they are losing ground in terms of their current personal
Personal Debt: The average Quebecer now carries $8,739 in personal (non-mortgage) debt,
compared to the national average of $11,729.
Major Purchases: Over half of Quebec consumers (54 per cent) indicate they have delayed
major purchases - such as buying a car, household appliances or
vacation spending - due to current economic conditions, just over the
national average of 53 per cent.
Lottery Windfall: Quebecers work for more reasons than just the money, with 39 per cent
saying that even if they were to win $1 million in a lottery, they
would continue working; 34 per cent say they would retire.
The national RBC CCO release, full set of regional releases and related
comparative data charts can be accessed via rbc.com/newsroom/2012/0209-cdn-consumer.html.
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About the RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook Index (RBC CCO)
Benchmarked as of November 2009, the RBC CCO is conducted online via
Ipsos Reid's national I-Say Consumer Panel. Data collection was January
9 to 16, 2012, via 4,479 Canadians (490 British Columbia, 498 Alberta,
538 Saskatchewan/Manitoba, 1,395 Ontario, 921 Quebec, 635 Atlantic
Canada). Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure
that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population
according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate
the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of
this size and a 100 per cent response rate would have an estimated
margin of error of ±1.65 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what
the results would have been had the entire population of adults in
Canada been polled.
For further information:
Raymond Chouinard, RBC Media Relations, 514-874-6556
Kathy Bevan, RBC Corporate Communications, 416-974-2727