Consumer confidence rises on strength of future expectations

September 22, 2008
Written by TNS
Canadians entered the first week of the federal election campaign with a sense of hope for the economy as the latest results from TNS Canadian Facts’ Consumer Confidence Index point to a rise in confidence in September. The overall Consumer Confidence Index now stands at 99.6, up from 98.3 in August, and 96.5 in July.

“Although rising confidence over two consecutive months is welcome news, it is largely a reflection of  Canadians’ improved expectations for the future, rather than positive assessments of how things are going right now,” said Richard Jenkins, vice-president of TNS Canadian Facts and director of the marketing research firm’s monthly tracking study.
 
The Present Situation Index, which captures evaluations of the overall state of the economy and the employment situation, stands at 106.9, which is down from 108.3 in August, and suggests that Canadians remain concerned about the current performance of the economy.
 
The Expectations Index, which measures consumers’ estimation of the economy, household income and employment in the next six months, is the main driver of positive sentiment when it comes to the economy.  The index now stands at 96.3, which is up considerably from 93.2
last month.  
 
The Buy Index, which gauges the degree to which people think the current period is a good time to make major purchases, also rose quite significantly.  The index now sits at 93.0, up from 90.0 recorded in August.  

“With further bad news about the financial sector in the U.S. hitting the press after we completed our survey, we should expect consumers to rethink their enthusiasm for the future,” added Jenkins.
 
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 8 and 12, 2008.  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 (www.tns-cf.com) is one of Canada's most prestigious full-service marketing, opinion and social research organizations.

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