Confidence rises with dollar strength: Survey



    Market concerns about long term impact of credit issue spilling over

    TORONTO, Nov. 16 /CNW/ - TNS Canadian Facts' Consumer Confidence Index
for November shows that consumers have set aside any concern about the impact
of the credit issue and overall U.S. weakness, to arrive at unprecedented
levels of economic confidence.
    "With confidence overflowing, consumers are poised to open their wallets
this holiday season," 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 122.8. This
represents an increase from 119.8 (2.5% increase) and the highest level in the
more than three years that TNS has been conducting the study. Two-thirds of
Canadians think the economy is very or fairly good at this time.
    The Expectations Index, which measures consumers' estimation of the
economy, household income and employment in six months also rose for the
second consecutive month. The November index value is 103.6 compared to 103.1
in October and 99.5 in September.
    The Buy Index, which gauges the degree to which people think the current
period is a good time to make major purchases, continues to exhibit the
volatility it has shown over the past two years. The index now sits at 96.0,
which is well below the highs of 2004 but well above the September value
(91.3). At present, 42 per cent think it is a good time to make major
purchases (37% think it is neither a good time nor a bad time).
    "With employment at record levels and the high dollar strengthening
purchasing power, consumer optimism is translating into an early good news
story for retailers as they enter the important holiday season as long as they
can head off the resurgence of cross-border shopping," added Jenkins.
    The survey found that Canadians plan to spend $986 on holiday gifts,
decorations or other holiday items this season, a significant 12 per cent
increase over estimated holiday spending in 2006, which averaged $877.

    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 November 5 and 8. 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 global market insight and information group.
    We are the world's foremost provider of custom research and analysis,
combining in-depth industry sector understanding with world-class expertise in
the areas of Retail and Shopper Insights, Stakeholder Management, New Product
Development, and Brand and Communications. We are a major supplier of consumer
panel, media intelligence and internet, TV and radio audience measurement
services.

    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

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