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Canadians are far from despairing about the economy: survey


Results of a new TNS Canadian Facts tracking survey

TORONTO – Although news reports suggest that Canadians’ perceptions of the state of the economy worsened in March, results of a new TNS Canadian Facts tracking survey point to areas of emerging optimism and indicate that negative views of the economy are not universally held. In fact, few Canadians are very negative regarding Canada’s economic and employment situation.

“With the faltering economy continuing to dominate our news, it is encouraging to note that Canadians’ attitudes have not deteriorated to the negative extreme. In fact, the majority of Canadians are neutral or moderately negative about our economy and the employment situation,” said Rhonda Grunier, vice-president of TNS Canadian Facts and director of the marketing research firm’s quarterly tracking study called Vibe.

Regarding Canada’s current economic climate, most Canadians are either neutral (39%) or moderately negative (37%). Only about one in 10 Canadians (12%) is very negative while a similar proportion is positive (10%). Sentiments about Canada’s current employment situation are also cautious and concerned, with most Canadians reporting that the job situation is either mixed (37%) or moderately difficult (36%). Again, relatively few Canadians express an extremely negative (16%) or positive (10%) opinion.

“One of the consequences of the prolonged economic downturn is that consumers have made reductions and shifts in their purchasing patterns. More specifically, while Canadians have experienced a measure of success in cutting some expenses, particularly in the areas of discretionary spending, it is evident that they are still looking for additional savings. Top priorities for future savings are most noted in the areas of banking fees, TV and cellphone subscriptions. Conversely, certain sectors have seen significant change already, and consumer attention is less focused on continued cutbacks in these areas – such as travel, eating out, entertainment, and on-premises beer, wine and spirits expenditures,” added Grunier.

Vibe tracks Canadians’ attitudes about the economy and consumer behaviour on a quarterly basis. In addition to high-level measures of the economy, the Vibe survey incorporates modules reporting detailed consumer expenditures in areas such as grocery shopping, restaurants, alcoholic beverages, telecom, financial institutions and travel. Online interviews were conducted between March 5 and 16, 2009, among 1,455 Canadians who were randomly selected from the TNS Canadian Facts interactive research panel. The survey data were weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the Canadian population, aged 18 and older.

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, specialising 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.

The Kantar Group

The Kantar Group is one of the world’s largest research, insight and consultancy networks. By uniting the diverse talents of more than 20 specialist companies – including the recently-
acquired TNS – the group aims to become the pre-eminent provider of compelling and actionable insights for the global business community. Its 26,500 employees work across 80 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. The Kantar Group is a wholly-owned subsidiary of WPP Group plc. For further information, please visit


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