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Consumer confidence the highest in 15 months


June 5, 2009
By Amanda Ryder

June 5, 2009 – Fewer Canadians anticipate a worsening domestic economy
in the coming year, suggests a Harris-Decima poll that found consumer
confidence at its highest level in 15 months.

The overall index of consumer confidence in the economy rose in the
period from February to June to 78.5, the highest the index has been
since February 2008. In the United States, the index reached 68.7, a
strong jump from February as well.

    –   Pessimism about the economic outlook for the coming year decreased
        dramatically with 29% anticipating bad times in the economy compared
        to 59% in February. The number who see good times ahead in the coming
        year doubled to 20% from the 10% recorded in February. And 44% of
        respondents believed business conditions wouldn't change in the
        coming year.

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    –   Optimism also grew strongly in terms of the five year outlook. A
        majority of Canadians see good times ahead in the next five years
        (51%) compared to 39% in February.

    –   As they have even during the most difficult times in this recession,
        most Canadians continue to express optimism about their own economic
        situation. The number of Canadians who say they are worse off today
        than they were last year remained relatively steady at 29%, up 2
        points from the February survey. Once again, people are far more
        likely to say they are doing about the same financially as they were
        last year (58%). 11% feel they are better off financially compared to
        a year ago, relatively unchanged since February.

    –   One in four Canadians (25%) believe they will be better off
        financially a year from now, while 11% believe they will be worse
        off. 56% believe they will be about the same financially a year from.
        This 2-to-1 ratio of optimism over pessimism is similar to what was
        seen in February's survey when 27% felt they'd be better off, and 13%
        felt they'd be worse off.

    –   Canadians continue to be more optimistic about making a major
        purchase. Today, 49% believe it is a good time to make a major
        purchase, while 34% feel it is a bad time to buy. In February,
        opinion was more split on the question with 41% seeing it as a good
        time to buy, and 43% a bad time.

According to Harris/Decima Senior Vice-President Jeff Walker, Canadians
are seeing light at the end of the tunnel for the economy. While many
remain unsure about how soon a recovery will happen, there is a growing
consensus that it will happen, and that Canada's economic future is
bright, much brighter than they felt just a few months ago.


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