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Quebec consumers plan to spend less


October 8, 2008
By Amanda Ryder


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NEWS HIGHLIGHT

Quebec consumers plan to spend less
Consumer confidence continues to fall, according to the results of a
survey by the Conseil québécois du commerce de détail/Retail Council of
Quebec (CQCD). The survey, on Quebec consumer spending trends and the
buying habits of Quebecers, was conducted by Altus Géocom on behalf of
the CQCD.

Consumer confidence
continues to fall, according to the results of a survey by the Conseil
québécois du commerce de détail/Retail Council of Quebec (CQCD). The
survey, on Quebec consumer spending trends and the buying habits of
Quebecers, was conducted by Altus Géocom on behalf of the CQCD.

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Quebec households and their perception of their financial situation
 
The last six months

Fifty-nine per cent of households perceive their financial situation as
being unchanged over the last six months; 17 per cent have seen an
improvement and 24 per cent have noted a deterioration.The rise in the
cost of living was the main and significant reason mentioned by
households reporting a deterioration in their financial situation over
the last six months; it was mentioned by 63 per cent of respondents in
that group, compared 38 per cent last year, while 25 per cent mentioned
a reduction in employment income as the principal reason for the
deterioration.

While a large majority of households (76 per cent) report that their
financial situation has remained the same (59 per cent) or even
improved (17 per cent), the proportion of Quebec households whose
financial situation has deteriorated has almost doubled (24 per cent)
compared with the same time last year (10 per cent).

The next six months

Quebec households are optimistic about their finances for the near
future six months. In fact, 83 per cent of households expect their
financial situation to remain unchanged (59 per cent) or even improve
(24 per cent) over the next six months.

Among the somewhat more pessimistic households (13 per cent), the rise
in the cost of living is identified in 68% of respondents as the main
cause of the expected decline in their financial situation.

"The more pessimistic Quebec households (13 per cent) are not afraid of
losing their jobs or having less income; rather, they are afraid that
their expenses will increase more than their income. They identify the
cost of living as the major factor impacting their financial
situation," concludes CQCD president Me Gaston Lafleur.

Quebec's financial situation

Quebecers' perceptions of the province's financial health are
essentially less optimistic than the same period last year. In fact, 35
per cent of Quebecers are now pessimistic about Quebec's economy in the
short term, compared with 24 per cent at the same time last year.
Fourty-seven per cent of Quebecers expect Quebec's economic situation
to remain unchanged and 8 per cent expect to see an improvement over
the next six months.

Quebecers' spending intentions

Major purchases

According to the survey, 19 per cent of Quebecers plan to make a major
purchase (automobiles, furniture, household appliances, computers,
etc…) in the next six months, compared with 22 per cent at this time
last year. The highest proportion of consumers intending to make major
purchases are found among young people under 35, and more affluent
households. Automobiles rank first among the major purchases planned (8
per cent), followed by household appliances (5 per cent) and furniture
(4 per cent).

Nearly half of Quebecers don't believe that it is a good time to make
major purchases – 49 per cent of respondents, up from 38 per cent last
year.

Other consumer goods

In the next six months, Quebec consumers plan to spend more on
hardware/renovation items (+6 per cent) and shoes and clothing (+4 per
cent). On the other hand, they intend to spend less on audio and video
equipment (-24 per cent), furniture and household appliances (-20 per
cent), computer equipment (-20 per cent) and toys (-19 per cent).


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