Consumer Confidence Surges with Optimism in the New Year: Survey

TORONTO, Jan. 19, 2012 /CNW/ - Canadian consumers are willing to take a fresh and more optimistic view of the economy and their prospects as we enter 2012, according to the latest consumer confidence survey conducted by TNS Canada.  After dropping to 95.0 in December, the TNS Canadian Consumer Confidence Index rose sharply in January to 98.6, the highest it's been since July of last year.

"Canadians are entering 2012 with a renewed sense of optimism about the economy," said Norman Baillie-David, Vice President of TNS Canada and Director of the Marketing and Social Research firm's monthly tracking study.  "As we enter a new year, Canadians have decided, at least for now, to ignore the dire news headlines coming from the US and Europe and to think that 2012 will be a good year for the economy."

The Present Situation Index, which measures how people feel about the economy right now, dropped slightly in December to 92.9 and then rebounded five (5) full index points to 97.9. This indicates that despite continuing gloomy economic news and uncertain prospects, Canadians are looking around and saying to themselves: "I don't know about anyone else, but I'm feeling OK about my own situation right now."

The Expectations Index, which measures people's outlook for the economy six months from now also rose sharply, from 99.2 in December to 102.9 in January, the highest it's been since July of last year.  "Canadians want to believe that 2012 will be a good economic year, and are reflecting that in a renewed sense of optimism," added Mr. Baillie-David. "Time will tell if the optimism will result in better economic performance, or if it's just wishful thinking." 

The Buy Index, which measures the extent to which Canadians feel that now is a good time to purchase a "big ticket item", such as a car or a major household appliance, is perhaps the most important of the sub-indices, because if people feel now is a good time to buy, they may act on it, which will provide the real economic stimulus.  The Buy Index also rose, although not quite as sharply as the other indices, from 93.8 in December to 95.2 in January.

All in all, our Consumer Confidence Index is showing a good news story.  We just hope it proves to be more than the optimism of a new year and carries forward to our survey next month.

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 January 9 and January 13, 2012.  For a survey sample of this size, the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

About TNS

TNS Canada (formerly known as TNS Canadian Facts) is the Canadian arm of TNS. TNS advises clients on specific growth strategies around new market entry, innovation, brand switching and stakeholder management, based on long-established expertise and market-leading solutions. With a presence in over 80 countries, TNS has more conversations with the world's consumers than anyone else and understands individual human behaviours and attitudes across every cultural, economic and political region of the world.

TNS is part of Kantar, one of the world's largest insight, information and consultancy groups.

About Kantar

Kantar is one of the world's largest insight, information and consultancy groups. 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 28,500 employees work across 100 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.

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SOURCE TNS Canadian Facts

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For more information on these results please contact:

Norman Baillie-David  
Vice President  
(613) 230-4408 x101

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TNS Canadian Facts

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