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Canadian consumers cautiously optimistic about the economy’s future: survey


Canadians remain essentially upbeat

TORONTO - The latest results from TNS Canadian Facts’ Consumer Confidence Index suggest that Canadians remain essentially upbeat, if just ever-so-slightly skeptical, about the prospects for the national economy and employment situation in six months. The overall index now stands at 98.7, off just a shade from August’s 99.2.

“At the top line, not much has changed in the minds of Canadians. But look deeper and you see that they are taking a cautious approach about the good economic news of the past month - they’re hearing it, but they are still not yet ready to act upon it by making major purchases en masse,” said Dr. Michael Antecol, vice-president of TNS Canadian Facts and director of the marketing research firm’s monthly tracking study.

The presence of positive economic news is obvious in this month’s Present Situation Index, which captures evaluations of the overall state of the current economic and employment situations. It popped up another 3.1 points to 86.5 from last month’s 83.4.

But slight notes of caution are evident in the other two indices that make up the overall index. The Expectations Index, which measures consumers’ estimation of the economy, household income and employment in the next six months, gave back 1.1 points in September after posting a robust 8.5 point rise in August. This index is now exactly at 110. And the Buy Index, which gauges the degree to which people think the current period is a good time to make major purchases, returned most of its August gains falling 4.6 points from 108.3 to 103.7 this month.

“Canadians remain cautiously optimistic. Sure, they can see the economic improvements and most believe the economy is on the right track. But they’re not quite ready to buy-in. They’re on a train that was delayed but is now chugging along. It’s not a high-speed locomotive. It may even be a milk run with several more stops ahead. But Canadians believe that the train will ultimately reach its destination. They’re just not sure when,” 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 September 14 and 17, 2009. 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 ( is one of Canada’s most prestigious full-service marketing, opinion and social research organizations.

About TNS

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 Kantar, the world’s largest research, insight and consultancy network. Please visit for more information.


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