MONTREAL, Oct. 10, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The Quebec consumer confidence index is rising. The majority of Quebecers believe that their own financial situation will remain the same (59%) or improve (23%) and they are more optimistic about the economic future of the province (17%), compared with last fall (10%).
These are the findings of a survey by the Altus Group, conducted on behalf of the Conseil québécois du commerce de détail (CQCD)/Retail Council of Quebec. Quebecers' confidence index is near the equilibrium point, at 96.2%, which is 7 points (+7.9%) above last year's level. The index is also up by 8.2 points compared with its winter 2012 level. This increase puts an end to nearly three consecutive years of decline. "Consumers are more confident, even though they anticipate little change in their personal financial situation," concludes Me Gaston Lafleur, the CQCD's president and CEO.
Perception of the economic situation
The survey shows that 66% of Quebec households see their financial situation as having remained the same in the last 6 months; this is a slightly lower proportion than last year at this time. Only 20% of respondents reported a deterioration of their financial situation in the last 6 months. This proportion is slightly higher than in 2011 (19%). Among the reasons given, to the rising cost of living is the main factor cited by 59% of respondents (this proportion is 5 points lower than in 2011), while only 22% associate it with work, citing a decrease in salary and/or fewer hours worked (down 1 point compared with 2011).
The survey also reveals that 59% of Quebec households expect their financial situation to remain the same in the next 6 months; this proportion is 3 points lower than in 2011. 23% anticipate an improvement in their financial situation and only 11% expect it to deteriorate. Again, the main contributing factor mentioned is the rising cost of living, with 65% of Quebecers citing this factor, compared to 67% last year.
Two out of five Quebecers, or 40%, expect the province's financial situation to remain the same for the next 6 months. On the other hand, pessimists, at 30%, continue to outnumber optimists, at 17%. However, 37% of Quebecers expect Quebec's economy to grow during the next three years, compared with 30% in 2011. On the other hand, 42% anticipate a decline in the economy, down 5 points from 2011.
More than a third of Quebecers (43%) see this as a good time to purchase one or more big-ticket items. This is an increase of 4 points compared with 2011. Even though more Quebecers feel that the current economic climate is favourable to major purchases, there is a very slight decrease in buying intentions for the next 6 months in 2012 (19% compared with 21% last year). Automobiles (7 %) continue to rank first among the purchases planned, followed by furniture (4%) and computers (3%).
With regard to buying intentions over the coming months by type of product and service, Quebecers plan to spend more on clothing items only. They plan to spend less in all other categories of goods and services. In 2011, clothing items were also the only category where positive spending intentions were noted.
Altus Group - CQCD consumer confidence index
For fall 2012, the confidence index stands near the equilibrium point of 100, at 96.2 points. This is an increase of 8.2 points over last year (88). This is the first increase in consumer confidence since the fall of 2009, after a record low of 81.4 points in the winter of 2009.
The back-to-school period
The findings with regard to buying intentions for the back-to-school period were also published. This period generated sales of $346M in Quebec, representing 11.5% of sales for the month of August (excluding automobiles, hardware/home renovations and alcoholic beverages). Median expenditures per household with children in primary or secondary school amounted to $165 for school supplies and $205 for clothing items. Total expenses represent $284 per child. Finally, households with at least one child in private school spend an average of 42% more per child.
This survey polled 1009 Quebecers between August 30 and September 14, 2012. 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-related activities in Quebec and is an indispensable voice for this major sector the economy.
SOURCE: RETAIL COUNCIL OF QUEBEC
Lise Plante, MBA
Communications and Marketing Director
Conseil québécois du commerce de détail / Retail Council of Quebec
Tel.: 514-842-6681, extension 200
E-mail: email@example.com - www.cqcd.org