CQCD - Consumer spending trends - Quebec consumers plan to spend more - The confidence index is at a record high!



    MONTREAL, Oct. 17 /CNW Telbec/ - Those are the results of a survey made
public during a news conference today by the Conseil québécois du commerce de
détail/Retail Council of Quebec (CQCD). The survey, on Quebec consumer
spending trends and the buying habits of Quebecers, was conducted by
Groupe Géocom on behalf of the CQCD.

    - Quebec households and their perception of their financial situation

    The last six (6) months

    The survey reveals that 72% of households perceive their financial
situation as being unchanged over the last six (6) months; 18% have seen an
improvement and 10% have noted a deterioration. The rise in the cost of living
was the main reason cited by households reporting a deterioration in their
financial situation over the last six (6) months; it was mentioned by 38% of
respondents in that group, while 21% cited a reduction in employment income as
the principal reason for the deterioration.
    However, a very high proportion of households (90%) report that their
financial situation has remained the same (72%) or even improved (18%).

    The next six (6) months

    Quebec households are clearly optimistic about their finances for the six
next months. In fact, 91% of households expect their financial situation to
remain unchanged (67%) or even improve (24%) over the next six (6) months.
Among the somewhat more pessimistic households (7%), the rise in the cost of
living is cited in (52%) of cases as the main cause of the expected decline in
their financial health.
    "The more pessimistic Quebec households (7%) are not afraid of losing
their jobs or having less income; rather, they are afraid that their expenses
will increase by more than their income," explains CQCD president
Me Gaston Lafleur.

    - Quebec's financial situation

    Quebecers' perceptions of the province's financial health are essentially
the same as the last period last year. The survey reveals that 50% of
Quebecers expect Quebec's economic situation to remain unchanged and 15%
expect to see an improvement over the next six (6) months. At this time last
year, 61% of Quebecers were optimistic in this regard.
    In fact, 24% of Quebecers are now pessimistic about Quebec's economy in
the short term, compared with 28% at the same time last year.

    - Quebecers' spending intentions

    Major purchases

    The general mood of optimism is influencing the spending intentions of
Quebec households. According to the survey, 22% of Quebecers plan to make a
major purchase (automobiles, furniture, household appliances, computers,
etc...) in the next six (6) months, compared with 20% at this time last year.
The highest proportions of consumers intending to make major purchases are
found among young people under 35, adults (aged 45-54) and more affluent
households. Automobiles rank first among the major purchases planned (7%),
followed by household appliances (5%), computer equipment (5%) and furniture
(4%).
    "The number of Quebec consumers intending to purchase big-ticket items is
as high as it was at this time last year," notes Me Lafleur.

    Other consumer goods

    In the next six (6) months, Quebec consumers plan to spend more on
entertainment items (+7%), hardware/renovation items (+6%) and shoes and
clothing (+5%). On the other hand, they intend to spend less on toys (-17%),
audio and video equipment (-16%) and furniture and household appliances(-11%).
    For other consumer goods on the whole, Quebec households intend to spend
more in the next six (6) months than during the same period last year. If
these plans materialize, we can look forward to a consumer spending period
that will benefit all retail sub-sectors, as well as the tourism and
entertainment sectors.

    - The Géocom - CQCD confidence index

    The Géocom - CQCD confidence index reached a record high of 104.4 in
September, up from 98.2 in March 2007.
    The confidence index is at its highest level in three (3) years. Its
previous high of 103.0 was reached in the fall of 2004; it fell to a low of
86.6 in the fall of 2005.
    According to Me Gaston Lafleur of the CQCD, "Quebec consumers are
confident; their spending intentions indicate that they plan to spend more
than last year on all categories of products and services. The current
economic context remains favourable to consumer spending in Quebec."
    The survey polled a random sample of 1007 Quebecers, between September 7
and September 17, 2007. It has a margin of error of 3.2%, 19 times out of 20.

    The Conseil québécois du commerce de détail/Retail Council of Quebec
(CQCD) is proud to promote, represent and enhance the image of the retail
sector and its members in order to ensure the sound development and prosperity
of the sector. The CQCD is an association of retail and distribution
enterprises representing more than 70% of retail activity in Quebec. It is an
indispensable interlocutor for the sector it represents.




For further information:

For further information: Gaston Lafleur, President, Conseil québécois du
commerce de détail/Retail Council of Quebec, (514) 842-6681, ext. 200,
1-800-364-6766; Source: Conseil québécois du commerce de détail/Retail Council
of Quebec, www.cqcd.org

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