The latest results from TNS Canadian Facts’ Consumer Confidence Index suggest that Canadians are continuing to send mixed messages when it comes to the Canadian economy.
They are feeling better about the current economic situation but are still concerned about the future.
Overall, the index edged back up to 97.6 from last month’s 96.7 and is on par with where it stood in December.
“The confidence numbers remain quite flat. It’s good to see Canadians feeling a bit better about the here-and-now. But until they start feeling good about today and tomorrow, I wouldn’t count on seeing significant consumer spending,” said Dr. Michael Antecol, vice-president of TNS Canadian Facts and director of the marketing research firm’s monthly tracking study.
When it comes to today, the Present Situation Index, which captures evaluations of the overall state of the current economic and employment situations, rose almost three points from 82.7 to 85.6 – putting the index almost back to where it stood in September 2009.
Likewise the Buy Index, which gauges the degree to which people think the current period is a good time to make major purchases, bounced up after last month’s fall. It rose 1.7 points from 100.4 to 102.1.
However, when it comes to tomorrow, the Expectations Index, which measures consumers’ estimation of the economy, household income and employment in the next six months, gave up 2.7 points to close at 109.1 from last month’s new high of 111.8.
“The stars need to align for Canadians. The uncertainty in the indices, the fact that they are bouncing up and down, suggests Canadians remain conflicted. Until they can objectively look at their financial situations and feel good about where they are now and where they are heading going forward, we are unlikely to see a sustained, consumer-driven economic turn-around,” added Dr. Antecol.
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 1 and 4, 2010.
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.
TNS, who recently merged with Research International, is the world’s largest custom research agency delivering actionable insights and research-based business advice to its clients so they can make more effective business decisions.
TNS offers comprehensive industry knowledge within the Consumer, Technology, Finance, Automotive and Political & Social sectors, supported by a unique product offering that stretches across the entire range of marketing and business issues, specializing in product development & innovation, brand & communication, stakeholder management, retail & shopper, and qualitative research.
Delivering best-in-class service across more than 70 countries, TNS is part of the Kantar Group.
Please visit www.tnsglobal.com for more information.
Kantar is one of the world's largest insight, information and consultancy networks. 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 26,500 employees work across 95 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.
Toronto - 12th February 2010