Canadians start spring with jump in confidence about the economy: Survey



    TORONTO, March 30 /CNW/ - Canadians' assessments of the economy have
rebounded since February when businesses were struggling with the consequences
of a strike at CN, according to the latest consumer confidence poll by TNS
Canadian Facts.
    "The resilience of consumer sentiment is largely in line with the
resilience of the Canadian economy over the past year, which has weathered
both short and long term challenges," said Richard Jenkins, vice-president of
TNS Canadian Facts and director of the marketing research firm's monthly
Consumer Confidence Index tracking study.
    The Present Situation Index, which captures evaluations of the overall
state of the economy and the employment situation, now stands at 115.5, a rise
of five points from 110.5 in February. While not as positive as they were in
January, Canadians are very upbeat about the current situation. Over half
(56%) think the economy is very or fairly good and 49 per cent think there are
many or very many jobs available.
    The Expectations Index, which measures consumers' estimation of the
economy, household income and employment six months from now, also rose in
March. It stands at 104.5, up from 101.7 in February, and is now at its
highest point recorded over the past three years.
    The Buy Index, which gauges the degree to which people think the current
period is a good time to make major purchases, has fluctuated wildly over the
past six months. On the strength of positive assessments of the current and
future economy, though, the index jumped to its highest point in the past 12
months and now sits at 98.4, up from 92.2 in February.
    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 March 19 and 22. The
survey results are considered accurate to 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out
of 20.

    TNS Canadian Facts (www.tns-cf.com) is one of Canada's most prestigious
full-service marketing, opinion and social research organizations.

    About TNS

    TNS is a market information group:

    
    -   The world's largest provider of custom research and analysis
    -   A leader in political and social polling
    -   A major supplier of consumer panel, media intelligence and TV and
        radio audience measurement services.
    

    TNS operates across a global network in over 70 countries, allowing us to
provide internationally consistent, up-to-the-minute and high quality
information and analysis.
    TNS' strategic goal is to be recognized as the global leader in
delivering value added information and insights that help our clients to make
more effective decisions.

    www.tns-global.com





For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Richard W. Jenkins, Vice
President, Corporate Director, Public Opinion Research, Tel: (613) 230-4408
x101, e-mail: richard.jenkins@tns-global.com; David Stark, Vice President,
Public Affairs, Tel: (416) 924-5751 x238, e-mail: david.stark@tns-global.com

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