TORONTO, Dec. 20 /CNW/ - After months of ambivalence on the economy,
Canadians' sentiment turned more negative in December - especially when
it comes to perceptions of the current economy. These findings are
consistent with our earlier results that indicated this will be the
lowest-spending holiday season since 2005. Overall, TNS Canada's final Consumer Confidence Index of 2010 was down 1.5 points, more than erasing its small November gain.
It ended the year at 96.1.
"Gloomy - that's how we can describe Canadians year-end sentiments on
the economy," said Dr. Michael Antecol, vice-president of TNS Canada
and director of the marketing research firm's monthly tracking study.
"The year clearly isn't ending well for consumer confidence -
indifference has given way to heightened negativity around both current
and future economic prospects. It really isn't too surprising that so
many Canadians are planning to sit on their wallets this holiday
The Present Situation Index, which captures evaluations of the overall state of the current economic
and employment situations, took a decided drop in December. After a
one-month positive blip of 2.1 points in November, the index returned
to the negative results of September and October, falling 4.5 points to
end the year at 89.0 - a score not seen since March of this year.
The results of the two future-oriented confidence indices were again
mixed. The Expectations Index, which measures consumers' estimation of the economy, household income
and employment in the next six months, returned to negative territory
after two months of modest gains. In December the index fell 1.1 points
to end 2010 at 104.6.
In contrast, the Buy Index, which gauges the degree to which people think the current period is a
good time to make major purchases, continued its third quarter
momentum. The index ended the year at 97.0, up 1.9 points in December
and complementing the 4.3-point increases seen in the first two months
of the third quarter.
"The results of the Buy Index provide some hope for the future. No doubt it is a good time to make
some of those major buys - retailers are very busy lowering prices. The
key will be whether this momentum can be sustained into 2011. But a
word of caution - Canadians now have a higher debt to income ratio than
our American neighbours. So, while these purchases may seem encouraging
at first blush, they don't necessarily improve the underlying economic
fundamentals. They are often purchased through increased debt -
especially credit card debt - and when interest rates inevitable rise,
we'll still be sitting on a house of cards."
Consumer Confidence Index tracks Canadians' attitudes about the economy each month and is part of
a global study conducted by TNS in 18 countries. Three indices are
produced each month to show how confidence in the economy is changing: Present Situation Index; an Expectations Index; and a Buy Index. The Canadian fieldwork is conducted using the firm's national
bi-weekly telephone omnibus service, TNS Express Telephone. A total of
1,015 nationally representative Canadian adults were interviewed
between December 6 and 12, 2010. For a survey sample of this size, the margin of sampling
error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
TNS Canada (www.tns-cf.com) is one of Canada's most prestigious full-service marketing, opinion
and social research organizations.
TNS, who recently merged with Research International, is the world's
largest custom research agency delivering actionable insights and
research-based business advice to its clients so they can make more
effective business decisions. TNS offers comprehensive industry
knowledge within the Consumer, Technology, Finance, Automotive and
Political & Social sectors, supported by a unique product offering that
stretches across the entire range of marketing and business issues,
specializing in product development & innovation, brand &
communication, stakeholder management, retail & shopper, and
qualitative research. Delivering best-in-class service across more
than 70 countries, TNS is part of the Kantar Group. Please visit www.tnsglobal.com for more information.
Kantar is one of the world's largest insight, information and
consultancy networks. By uniting the diverse talents of its 13
specialist companies, the group aims to become the pre-eminent provider
of compelling and inspirational insights for the global business
community. Its 26,500 employees work across 95 countries and across the
whole spectrum of research and consultancy disciplines, enabling the
group to offer clients business insights at each and every point of the
consumer cycle. The group's services are employed by over half of the
Fortune Top 500 companies.
For further information: For further information:
Dr. Michael Antecol
Tel: (604) 668-3306