Canadian Treasurer

September 15, 2011

Canadians' consumer confidence continues to fall: survey

TORONTO--- Canadians' confidence in the economy continued its drop from last month as the economic climate continues to worsen in both Europe and the United States. The TNS Canadian Consumer Confidence Index dropped more than another point, from 97.6 to 96.4, after dropping two points in August.  Continuing fluctuations in the stock markets and uncertain economic news emanating from Europe and the United States are continuing to bode poorly for our own economic outlook.

"It is often said that Canada is not an island, and we are certainly seeing the effects of global economic developments on how Canadians feel about their own prospects,"  said Norman Baillie-David, Vice President of TNS Canada and director of the marketing and social research firm's monthly tracking study. "Confidence is continuing to drop even though the Canadian economy continues to perform rather well.  We are reacting to the world situation rather than our own. The fear is that falling confidence will halt spending and that tends to be a self-fulfilling prophecy."

The  Present Situation Index, which has been holding steady as Canadians tended to feel resilient despite the problems elsewhere, has now dropped almost four points, from 99.0 to 95.2. The Present Situation Index measures how people feel about the economy right now, meaning Canadians are not feeling very good about their own situation.

The  Expectations Index, which measures people's outlook for the economy six months from now, is the Index which shows the greatest impact of the fear caused by the economic uncertainty. This Index dropped another half-point from 99.6 to 98.4 after having dropped six full points in August.   

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, actually showed a slight increase moving from 93.7 to 95.5, but we attribute this to sampling error, given the results in the other three indices.



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