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Consumer confidence holding steady: TNS

April 18, 2012
Written by Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery
Apr. 18, 2012 — Canadian consumer confidence is holding steady and has remained virtually unchanged since February, TNS reports.

According to the firm's latest consumer confidence survey, the index measured in at 95.4 in April, statistically the same as the 95.2 posted in March, and 95.1 posted in February.

"It looks like Canadians remain tuned out for now," said Norman Baillie-David, vice-president of TNS in Canada and director of the marketing and social research firm's monthly tracking study. "Consumer confidence has been locked down for the last two months, as other news stories continue to dominate the headlines, and the economy is taking a back seat. In March it was Robocalls and now in April it's the F35. In fact, until the time the survey was taken, there still hadn't been any dramatic news about the economy, and the result is that Canadians' confidence is not moving either up, nor down."

TNS' Present Situation Index, which measures how people feel about the economy right now, was also statistically equal to last month, showing 93.9 in March and 94.0 in April.

"Canadians don't feel any better or worse about their lot in life right now. It's staying pretty stable," continued Baillie-David.

The firm's Expectations Index, which measures people's outlook for the economy six months from now, also remained virtually unchanged, dropping slightly from 100.1 to 99.0

"This index continues to hover around its long-term average (100). I suspect with the NHL playoffs starting, it's going to take something really remarkable on the economic front to capture Canadians' attention during the next month or so," said Baillie-David.

The Buy Index, which measures the extent to which Canadians' feel that now is a good time to purchase a "big ticket item" such as a car or a major household appliance, is the only one of TNS' sub-indices showing some optimistic signs. This index rose from 92.0 to 93.6, which the firm attributed to spring and the beginning of the home renovation season.

"In any event, that is some optimistic news going forward, and Canadians are in somewhat of a spending mood."

The firm's Consumer Confidence Index tracks Canadians' attitudes about the economy each month, and is part of a global study conducted by TNS in 18 countries.

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 April 2 and 5. For a survey of this size, the margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 per cent, 19 times in 20.

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