TORONTO, Feb. 16, 2012 /CNW/ - After a very encouraging surge of
consumer confidence in January, Canadians have reverted to a more jaded
view of the economy and their own prospects, according to the latest
consumer confidence survey conducted by TNS Canada. After a dramatic
rise to 98.6 in January, the TNS Canada Consumer Confidence Index
dropped back to a more 'normal' level of 95.1 in February.
"Canadians don't know what to think about the economy anymore, and
confidence is going up and down on a roller-coaster ride of sorts" said Norman Baillie-David, Vice President of TNS Canada and Director of
the Marketing and Social Research firm's monthly tracking study. "Consumer confidence has now become a function of the latest media
report, not to mention just the mid-winter blahs. Economic news is
positive some days, and negative other days; whether it be job reports,
or the situation in Europe or the United States, there is no
consistency or trend in confidence right now. It's all over the map."
The Present Situation Index, which measures how people feel about the economy right now, dropped
5.5 points, from 97.9 in January to 92.4 in February, losing any gains
which were made in January. Unfortunately, this indicates that any New
Year's optimism reported last month has since dissipated, and that
Canadians are feeling considerably worse about their situation right
now compared to a month ago. "One of the contributing factors to this is imminent public sector cuts
in most jurisdictions around the country, combined with what is felt to
be a rather bleak job situation generally", explained Mr. Baillie-David.
The Expectations Index, which measures people's outlook for the economy six months from now also
dropped slightly, from 102.9 in January to 101.6. "Even with this slight decline, this still says Canadians are
relatively optimistic about the next six months, at least they still
think that things will get better, and not worse" 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, 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 dropped three points in February, from 95.2 to 92.2, meaning more
people have decided to put off any big purchases for the time being. "Not a good news story for car, furniture or appliance dealers - it
means they likely will have to be more aggressive with discounts and
financing to get people out; however, with March and the beginning of
the new house-buying season, this should be temporary." said Mr. Baillie-David.
All in all, our Consumer Confidence Index is showing that consumers' are
going through a bumpy ride, without a clear trend either up or down.
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 February 6 and February 10, 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.
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.
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
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SOURCE TNS Canada
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