Short term confidence falls amid market shocks



    WINNIPEG, Sept. 20 /CNW/ - The latest Harris/Decima-Investors Group Index
of Canadian Consumer Confidence shows Investors Group Canadian consumers'
confidence sagged through the third quarter of the year. The Index is based
upon five questions that probe perceptions of current and future economic
conditions, on both a macro and a personal level, and employs a similar model
to the University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment. Data were
gathered between August 30 and September 9th, 2007, Ottawa using a telephone
survey of 2012 Canadians.

    
    -  The Canadian index fell to 86.1, a shift of -1.7 points from last
       quarter. During the same period, US confidence decreased by 0.4 points
       to 83.4.

    -  Confidence increased slightly in the Atlantic, but fell across every
       other region of the country.

    -  Consumer confidence in Ontario is at the lowest level in two years.

    -  Alberta has seen a decline in consumer confidence since a peak in
       February 2005.
    

    Slide is linked to concerns about short term macro-economy

    The fall in consumer confidence is being fueled by uncertainty about
broad economic conditions in Canada in the short term. There has been a
notable (6 point) drop in the number who believe the Canadian economy will
perform well over the one year horizon, but only a one point deterioration in
confidence about the five year outlook.
    These concerns about the macro economy in the short term have not created
much evidence of worry at a personal or household level. Only one in ten
Canadians (11%) believe they and their family will be personally worse off
next year, while more than double that number (28%) think they will be better
off, up slightly from the previous quarter. The proportion of Canadians who
report they are personally better off than last year remained stable, as it
has since the last quarter of 2005.
    According to Harris/Decima President Bruce Anderson "Turmoil in global
stock markets draws a lot of consumer attention these days, much more so than
was the case 20 years ago. But the more Canadians have watched these events
unfold, the more often they have come away reinforced in their view that the
fundamentals of the Canadian economy are relatively sound. This permits them
to anticipate that there can be short term economic setbacks without becoming
highly anxious about the longer term. In turn, this allows people to feel that
they are fairly well inoculated from whatever economic shocks may transpire.
There is slight evidence of dampening of consumer spending, but the levels of
conviction that this is a good time to make a major purchase remain at
relatively high levels."
    "This is a vivid example of how individual emotion can be a disruptive
force in financial planning and investing," said Bill Chornous, Investment
strategist for Investors Group. "The Harris/Decima Investors Group Index of
Consumer Confidence was at its lowest point two years ago. Since then several
economic events have impacted Canadian consumer confidence - but the Index has
continued to rise. This is a good example of how short term most of these
impacts are - and it shows why Canadians are well advised to remain focused on
the longer term."
    The data for this index is based on a representative sample of 2,012
Canadians (18 years and older) surveyed between August 30th through September
9th, 2007. A sample of this size can be considered accurate within plus or
minus 2.2 per cent, 19 times out of 20. The Harris/Decima teleVox is a
national telephone survey conducted weekly by Harris/Decima.

    Investors Group, founded in 1926, is a national leader in delivering
personalized financial solutions to Canadians through a network of over 4,000
Consultants located throughout Canada. In addition to an exclusive family of
mutual funds and other investment vehicles, Investors Group offers a wide
range of insurance, securities, mortgage and banking services. Investors Group
is a member of the IGM Financial Inc. (TSX: IGM) group of companies. IGM
Financial is one of Canada's premier financial services companies with over
$125 billion in total assets under management.

    
    Selected Economic Indicators
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
               February    May  September  December   March    June September
                 2006     2006     2006     2006       2007     2007     2007
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Unemployment 6.4%     6.4%     6.5%     6.3%       6.1%     6.1%     6.0%
                (Feb)    (May)    (Aug)    (Dec)      (Mar)    (Jun)    (Aug)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    CPI          2.8%     2.4%     2.4%     1.4%       1.2%     2.2%     2.2%
                (Jan)  (April)   (July)    (Dec)      (Jan)    (May)    (Aug)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    C$/US$      0.86     0.90     0.90     0.87       0.85     0.94     0.96
               (M 10) (Jun 07) (Sept 1) (Dec 19)   (Mar 15) (Jun 20)    (S11)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Prime Rate  5.25%    6.00%    6.00%    6.00%      6.00%    6.00%    6.25%
                (M 1)    (May)    (Aug)    (Dec)      (Mar)    (Jun)   (Sept)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TSX       11,879   11,607   11,778   12,782  12,874.32   14,118   13,704
                (M13)   (Jun7)    (S13)    (D19)      (M15)    (J20)    (S11)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    CCI         88.0     88.6     86.1     86.7       86.6     87.7     86.1
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Regional Patterns
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                Index of Consumer Confidence
                 ------------------------------------------------------------
                  Aug   Nov   Feb   May  Sept   Dec   Feb    May   Aug   Dec
                 2004  2004  2005  2005  2005  2005  2006   2006  2006  2006
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    CANADA       87.6  88.0  88.0  87.9  75.1  84.8  88.0   88.6  86.1  86.7
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Region
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Atlantic     85.8  90.2  87.9  84.4  64.3  78.0  88.7   85.8  87.1  88.6
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec       90.3  83.6  84.7  85.9  70.3  78.1  79.3   86.0  81.1  83.0
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario      87.0  87.1  88.7  87.5  74.0  82.8  87.2   85.5  83.5  84.8
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Man./Sask    83.8  85.6  86.4  89.9  70.9  93.4  89.6   91.5  86.9  91.3
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Alberta      88.6  97.0  93.3  92.9  88.5  96.0  105.1 100.4  99.8  92.7
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    B.C.         86.3  93.0  89.6  89.9  85.8  94.1  93.0   93.2  91.2  91.3
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    USA(1)       95.9  92.8  94.1  86.9  76.9  81.6  86.7   79.1  82.0  92.1
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


                 ------------------------
                  Mar   Jun  Sept. Change
                 2007  2007  2007
    -------------------------------------
    CANADA       86.6  87.7  86.1  -1.6
    -------------------------------------
    Region
    -------------------------------------
    Atlantic     83.9  86.6  88.4  +1.8
    -------------------------------------
    Quebec       82.3  85.9  85.6  -0.3
    -------------------------------------
    Ontario      83.6  85.5  82.4  -3.1
    -------------------------------------
    Man./Sask    92.5  93.7  91.4  -2.3
    -------------------------------------
    Alberta      96.1  90.6  89.6  -1.0
    -------------------------------------
    B.C.         94.6  93.2  91.8  -1.4
    -------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------
    USA(1)       88.8  83.7  83.4  -0.4
    -------------------------------------
    (1)University of Michigan.
    




For further information:

For further information: Bruce Anderson, President, Tel: (613) 230-2200,
banderson@harrisdecima.com; Ron Arnst, Investors Group, Tel: (204) 956-3364,
ron.arnst@investorsgroup.com

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