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Canadian consumer confidence results mixed to begin 2013

Harris-Decima consumer confidence index remains stable.


March 28, 2013
by PLANT STAFF

WINNIPEG – Consumer confidence in Canada has stayed remarkably stable in the last year, shifting with a margin of less than two points each quarter, according to the Investor Group’s -Harris Decima consumer confidence index.

In the first quarter of 2013, the index stands at 77.6 in Canada, a slight increase from 75.3 in March 2012 but a small dip from the 79.0 in November of 2012.

One in four  respondents(25%) feel they will be better off financially a year from now, while 13% feel they will be worse off.   In the last quarter of 2012, this split was 24%-12%. Those living on the Prairies, men, and those between the ages of 25 and 44 are most likely to feel they’ll be better off financially a year from now.

Just over one in ten Canadians (13%) feel the next year will bring good times financially for the Canadian economy.  One in five (20%) feel there will be bad times financially in the next twelve months.  This split remains unchanged from what was recorded in November. Residents of Alberta and those under the age of 25 are most likely to be optimistic about the year ahead.

More than four in ten (43%) believe that Canada will have continuous periods of good times over the next five years.  Another 41% feel the next five years will be a time of unemployment and recession.  In November, this split was 47%-38%.   Those living on the Prairies, men, those living in urban areas, and those with household incomes exceeding $80,000 per year are most likely to feel the next five years will bring good times financially to Canada.

Nationally, 44% feel it is a good time to make a major purchase, while 38% feel it is a bad time to do so.  In November, this split was 46%-25%.  A majority of those in Quebec (50%) and Manitoba and Saskatchewan (55%) feel it is a good time to make a major purchase.

Canadians are relatively split on where they stand financially compared to a year ago.  While 17% feel they are better off than they were a year ago, 19% feel they are worse off.  In the last quarter of 2012, this split was 18%-22%.  In the first quarter, those most likely to say they are better off financially compared to a year ago are Albertans (23%), those with household incomes exceeding $100k/year, and those under the age of 45.

“The slight increase in the number of Canadians who feel they will be better off financially a year from now provides a tinge of optimism,” said Gaeten Ruest, assistant vice-president, product and corporate research at Investors Group. “Overall, Canadians appear to be following the conservative, deliberate path that we are very familiar with.”

Survey data was gathered through teleVox, the company’s national telephone omnibus survey for two weeks fromFebruary 21 and March 4, 2013 with just over 2,000 respondents.