Future concerns still loom large when it comes to consumer confidence: survey

TORONTO, June 18 /CNW/ - The latest results from TNS Canada's Consumer Confidence Index suggest that the future concerns still loom large for Canadians when it comes to their confidence in the Canadian economy. While there was a slight uptick with the here-and-now, worries about the future has not abated. Overall, the index remained basically unchanged - it ended the month at 98.9, up from 98.7 in May.

"Canadians continue to feel wary about Canada's economic future," said Dr. Michael Antecol, vice-president of TNS Canada and director of the marketing research firm's monthly tracking study. "It's not that Canadians don't see the short-term positive developments now under way. They do. It's just that these developments aren't easing future worries."

The Present Situation Index, which captures evaluations of the overall state of the current economic and employment situations, continued its recent ascent. It ended the month at 95.3, 1.8 points ahead of May's at 93.6.

But future-oriented confidence either fell or remained stagnant. The Expectations Index, which measures consumers' estimation of the economy, household income and employment in the next six months, continued its three-month long drop. It declined 2.1 points from May's 107.9 which itself was off 1.8 points from April's close of 109.7. The index now stands at 105.8.

The Buy Index, which gauges the degree to which people think the current period is a good time to make major purchases, was stagnant. It crept up 0.6 points in June, ending the month at 97.0 - a hardly inspiring result after the declines of March, April and May.

"The good economic news currently coming out in Canada should inspire future confidence. But that doesn't appear to be the case. At least not yet. Perhaps Canadians are realizing that they are going to have to pay for all that recent government largess, with those payments taking the form of higher taxes and interest rates on one hand and reduced services on the other. And with the HST looming in Ontario and British Columbia, there may be a newfound realization that those payments will be starting sooner rather than later."

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 June 7 and 10, 2010. 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 Canada (www.tns-cf.com) is one of Canada's most prestigious full-service marketing, opinion and social research organizations.

About TNS

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.

About Kantar

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.

SOURCE TNS

For further information: For further information: Media Contacts: Dr. Michael Antecol, Vice President, Tel: (604) 668-3306, e-mail: michael.antecol@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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