Quebecers' shopping habits and intentions in 2010 - Quebecers will spend
cautiously this year

MONTREAL, March 15 /CNW Telbec/ - The Conseil québécois du commerce de détail (CQCD)/Retail Council of Quebec today released the results of a survey conducted on its behalf by Groupe Altus on Quebec consumers' spending intentions for the next 12 months.

    
    Quebec households' perception of their financial situation
    The last 12 months
    

According to the survey, 74% of Quebec households see their financial situation as having improved or remained stable in the last 12 months. This is the same proportion as in 2009.

However, 26% of households reported a deterioration in their financial situation in the last 12 months. Among the reasons mentioned were the increase in the cost of living (48%), a reduction in salary or working conditions (35% vs. 21% in 2009), job loss (15%), and a slight decrease in the value of their investments (2% vs. 18% in 2009).

It is interesting to note the increased importance placed on job-related factors, i.e. job loss, working conditions and change in employment status, as causes for the worsening of households' financial situation in the past year.

The next 12 months

Quebec households remain quite optimistic with regard to their financial situation for the next 12 months. In fact, 83% (vs. 75% in 2009) expect that their financial situation will either remain the same (55%) or improve (28% vs. 19% in 2009).

However, 12% of households expect their situation to worsen, with the majority of these (69% vs. 49%) citing an increase in the cost of living and the worsening of their working conditions (27% vs. 25% in 2009) as the reasons for this deterioration. Reduction in the value of their investments (1%) and fear of job loss (1%) are mentioned less often this year than in 2009 (10%).

Quebec's financial situation

Quebecers are more optimistic this year with regard to Quebec's financial situation for the next 12 months. In fact, only 27% expect it to deteriorate. This proportion represents a very significant drop from last year, when 62% expressed pessimism in this regard.

"We can therefore conclude that, in general, Quebecers are more optimistic than they were last year, as regards both Quebec's financial future and their own personal finances," notes the CQCD's president, Me Gaston Lafleur.

    
    Spending intentions
    Purchases
    

Despite the fact that half of Quebecers believe that this is not a good time to make a major purchase, 28% (vs. 24% in 2009) of households intend to buy a big-ticket item in the next 12 months.

In 2009, automobiles ranked first among the major purchases planned by 10% of households. This year, household appliances top the list, followed by automobiles, furniture, computer equipment and household articles.

Quebecers plan to spend less for everyday purchases in the coming months. However, the gap between those who plan to spend more and those who plan to spend less is narrower than in 2009.

The Altus Géocom - CQCD confidence index remains high

Following the explosion of the confidence index in autumn 2009 (114.4), the Altus - CQCD index at the beginning of this decade remains quite high (105.0). This is an increase of nearly 24 points compared with the all-time low recorded at the same time last year (81.4).

"Although the situation with regard to public finances, the deficit and the debt remains worrisome and could affect spending intentions, Quebec households' optimism is encouraging, with a positive confidence index for the second consecutive quarter. We believe that sales will increase more gradually. More confident than in 2009, Quebecers will spend "wisely" and with greater assurance as the economy gains strength," concluded Me Lafleur.

The survey polled a random sample of 1 006 Quebecers between February 2 and 13, 2010. The margin of error is +/-3.2%, 19 times out of 20.

The Conseil québécois du commerce de détail (CQCD) is proud to promote, represent and enhance the image of the retail sector and the retailers who belong to it, in order to ensure the development and prosperity of the sector. The CQCD is an association of retail and distribution businesses representing more than 70% of retail activity in Quebec and is an indispensable voice for this major sector of Quebec's economy.

SOURCE Retail Council of Quebec

For further information: For further information: Gaston Lafleur, President, Conseil québécois du commerce de détail, (514) 842-6681, ext. 200, 1-800-364-6766; Céline Ducharme, Communications Manager, Conseil québécois du commerce de détail, (514) 842-6681, ext. 200, 1-800-364-6766; www.cqcd.org

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