TORONTO, April 12 /CNW/ - Nearly one-third (32 per cent) of Prairie
residents say that rising food and gas prices have had a significant
impact on their budgets, according to the March 2011 RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook Index (RBC CCO).
Those higher costs are not dampening economic optimism in the region,
however, with 45 per cent of Saskatchewan and Manitoba residents
believing the Canadian economy will improve and 75 per cent registering
a positive opinion about the current Canadian economy - the highest
such ranking in the country and well above the national average of 61
per cent. In addition, people in the Prairies are expressing the least
concern about job loss or layoffs, with job anxiety levels at 16 per
The RBC CCO also found that 43 per cent of residents in Saskatchewan and
Manitoba feel confident they are managing their debt well - higher than
the national average of 38 per cent - while 33 per cent feel they could
be doing better, compared to 35 per cent across the country.
"People here continue to feel optimistic about the economy and
employment, but they too are starting to feel the impact of a rise in
daily expenses," said Rob Johnston, regional president, Manitoba,
Saskatchewan and North Western Ontario, RBC. "By partnering with your
financial advisor, you can develop a budget strategy that can mitigate
rising costs, while still keeping your long term financial goals on
The overall outlook index for the Prairies rose to 87 points, seven
points higher than last quarter. Both of the Prairie provinces are
expected to see economic growth this year, with Saskatchewan
anticipated to lead the country with an impressive 4.9 per cent growth
and Manitoba projected to grow by 3.5 per cent, according to the most
recent Economic Outlook from RBC Economics.
"We're expecting that continued robust global demand for most natural
resource products will mean real GDP growth in Saskatchewan will be the
strongest in the country this year and next," said Craig Wright, senior
vice-president and chief economist, RBC. "For Manitoba, we're expecting
to see a boost from sustained recoveries in both the U.S. and elsewhere
in Canada, which will fuel further gains in manufacturing and
construction activity in the province."
The RBC CCO is Canada's most comprehensive consumer assessment of the economy, personal financial situation and economic and
purchasing expectations. Other provincial highlights from the March 2011 RBC CCO include:
Personal Financial Situation Outlook: Forty per cent of Saskatchewan and Manitoba residents expect their
personal finances to improve over the next year, just slightly above
the national average (39 per cent).
Spending Outlook on Major Purchases: Forty-three per cent of people in the Prairies say they have delayed
major purchases due to the current economy. Additionally, only 20 per
cent expect to increase spending over the next year, lower than the
Canadian average (23 per cent).
The national RBC CCO release, full set of regional releases and related
comparative data charts can be accessed via www.rbc.com/newsroom/2011/0412-cdn-consumer.html.
About RBC's debt management and other financial advice and interactive
RBC's myFinanceTracker, a new online financial management tool, offers all personal RBC online banking clients the ability, at no cost, to create a set budget and track their
spending habits. Whether Canadians want to get more from their day to day banking, protect what's important, save and invest, borrow with confidence or
take care of their businesses, the RBC Advice Centre can help answer their questions (www.rbcadvicecentre.com). Interactive tools and calculators provide customized information
covering many facets of personal finance. In addition, online advice
videos are updated regularly to reflect current trends and to answer
the questions that are top of mind with Canadians. With the guidance of
RBC advisors who are available to chat live, Canadians have access to
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and personalized one-on-one banking service.
About the RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook Index
The RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook Index (RBC CCO) is Canada's most comprehensive consumer assessment of the economy, personal
financial situation and economic and purchasing expectations.
Benchmarked as of November 2009, the RBC CCO is conducted online via Ipsos Reid's national I-Say Consumer Panel to 3,520 Canadians (534 British Columbia,
502 Alberta, 482 Saskatchewan/Manitoba, 901 Ontario, 582 Quebec, 519
Atlantic Canada). Weighting is then employed to balance demographics
and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult
population according to Census data and to provide results intended to
approximate the sample universe. Data collection was March 11 to 15,
2011. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a
100 per cent response rate would have an estimated margin of error of
±1.65 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would
have been had the entire population of adults in Canada been polled.
For further information:
Liz Redston, RBC Public Affairs and Communications, (204) 988-3516, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathy Bevan, RBC Corporate Communications, (416) 974-2727, email@example.com