Consumer confidence plummets with election around the corner



    TORONTO, Oct. 10 /CNW/ - Canadians enter the final weekend before the
federal election campaign feeling gloomy, and perhaps fearful, about the
economy as the latest results from TNS Canadian Facts' Consumer Confidence
Index point to a dramatic faltering in confidence in the last week. The
overall Consumer Confidence Index now stands at 88.9, down 99.6 last month.
    "With the global credit crises spreading north, it comes as no surprise
that Canadians have now completely abandoned a rosy outlook," said 
Richard Jenkins, vice-president of TNS Canadian Facts and director of the
marketing research firm's monthly tracking study.
    The Present Situation Index, which captures evaluations of the overall
state of the economy and the employment situation, stands at 96.9, which is
down from 106.9, a drop of 10 points.
    The Expectations Index, which measures consumers' estimation of the
economy, household income and employment in the next six months, declined
significantly from 96.3 last month to 87.8 in October.
    The Buy Index, which gauges the degree to which people think the current
period is a good time to make major purchases, declined the most. The index
now sits at 79.4 compared with 93.0 in September which represents a 13.6 point
decline. With consumer spending a key engine for economic growth, more people
think that it is a bad or very bad time to make a major purchase (32%) than
think it is a good time (24%).
    "The decline in consumer confidence is a serious threat to the Canadian
economy given the role that fear might play in scaling back consumer purchases
over the busy retail season, but it is important to keep in mind that for most
Canadians it is their employment income and prospects that define their
financial health and these have not deteriorated in the same way as the stock
market at this point," added Jenkins.
    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 October 6 and 9, 2008.
For a survey sample this size, the margin of sampling error is plus or minus
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 information and insight group.
    Its strategic goal is to be recognized as the global leader in delivering
value-added information and insights that help its clients make more effective
business decisions.
    TNS delivers innovative thinking and excellent service across a network
of 80 countries. Working in partnership with clients, TNS provides
high-quality information, analysis and insight that improve understanding of
consumer behaviour.
    TNS is the world's leading provider of customized services, combining
sector knowledge with expertise in the areas of Product Development &
Innovation, Brand & Communications, Stakeholder Management, Retail & Shopper
and Customer Intelligence. TNS is a major supplier of consumer panel, media
intelligence and audience measurement services.

    
    TNS is the sixth sense of business(TM).

    www.tnsglobal.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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