Canadians' Consumer Confidence Continues to Fall in Uncertain Economic Times: Survey

TORONTO, Sept. 15, 2011 /CNW/ - Canadians' confidence in the economy continued its drop from last month as the economic climate continues to worsen in both Europe and the United States.  The TNS Canadian Consumer Confidence Index dropped more than another point, from 97.6 to 96.4, after dropping two points in August.  Continuing fluctuations in the stock markets, and uncertain economic news emanating from Europe and the United States are continuing to bode poorly for our own economic outlook.

"It is often said that Canada is not an island, and we are certainly seeing the effects of global economic developments on how Canadians feel about their own prospects."  said Norman Baillie-David, Vice President of TNS Canada and director of the marketing and social research firm's monthly tracking study.  "Confidence is continuing to drop even though the Canadian economy continues to perform rather well.  We are reacting to the world situation rather than our own. The fear is that falling confidence will halt spending and that tends to be a self-fulfilling prophecy."

The Present Situation Index, which has been holding steady as Canadians tended to feel resilient despite the problems elsewhere, has now dropped almost four points, from 99.0 to 95.2.  The Present Situation Index measures how people feel about the economy right now, meaning Canadians are not feeling very good about their own situation.

The Expectations Index, which measures people's outlook for the economy six months from now, is the Index which shows the greatest impact of the fear caused by the economic uncertainty.  This Index dropped another half-point from 99.6 to 98.4 after having dropped six full points in August.  "In August, Canadians feeling about their future prospects fell hard. Now, this has translated into how they feel about the here and now." added Mr. Baillie-David.

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, actually showed a slight increase moving from 93.7 to 95.5, but we attribute this to sampling error, given the results in the other three indices.

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 September 6 and September 9, 2011.  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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