Optimism triumphing over pessimism: survey

    Consumers seem to believe in resilience of Canadian economy

    TORONTO, March 19 /CNW/ - After months of increasing worry about the
future, Canadians have shaken off their concerns and adopted a fairly positive
outlook, suggest the March findings from TNS Canadian Facts' Consumer
Confidence Index.
    "Canada's strong labour market is supporting a positive outlook and
leading Canadians to resist a doom and gloom view," said Richard Jenkins,
vice-president of TNS Canadian Facts and director of the marketing research
firm's monthly tracking study.
    The Present Situation Index, which captures evaluations of the overall
state of the economy and the employment situation, now stands at 116.8 (down
from 118.7 in February). Current perceptions are down slightly but still very
positive; half of all Canadians believe the economy is either very or fairly
    The Expectations Index, which measures consumers' estimation of the
economy, household income and employment in six months, rebounded after three
consecutive monthly declines. The March index value is 100.6 (up from 97.9 in
February and slightly higher than the 100.4 value recorded in December).
    The Buy Index, which gauges the degree to which people think the current
period is a good time to make major purchases, also rebounded. The index now
sits at 95.8 (up from 93.0 last month). Interestingly, the rebound occurred in
the wake of the Bank of Canada's bold move at the beginning of March to cut
its key interest rate by 50 basis points.
    "Strong domestic demand continues to drive consumer confidence in Canada
even as many Canadian businesses and economists are reacting to the
implications of weakening demand in the U.S.," added Jenkins.
    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 March 10 to 13, 2008.
For a survey sample this size, the margin of sampling error is plus or minus
3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
    TNS Canadian Facts (www.tns-cf.com) is one of Canada's most prestigious
full-service marketing, opinion and social research organizations.

    About TNS

    TNS is a global market information and insight group.
    Its strategic goal is to be recognized as the global leader in delivering
value-added information and insights that help its clients make more effective
business decisions.
    TNS delivers innovative thinking and excellent service across a network
of 80 countries. Working in partnership with clients, TNS provides
high-quality information, analysis and insight that improve understanding of
consumer behaviour.
    TNS is the world's leading provider of customized services, combining
sector knowledge with expertise in the areas of Product Development &
Innovation, Brand & Communications, Stakeholder Management, Retail & Shopper
and Customer Intelligence. TNS is a major supplier of consumer panel, media
intelligence and audience measurement services.

    TNS is the sixth sense of business(TM).


For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Richard W. Jenkins, Vice
President, Corporate Director, Public Opinion Research, Tel: (613) 230-4408
x101, e-mail: richard.jenkins@tns-global.com; David Stark, Vice President,
Public Affairs, Tel: (416) 924-5751 x238, e-mail: david.stark@tns-global.com

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