Global economic problems have taken toll on Canadians' confidence in the economy, which has dropped for four straight months, finds TNS Canada; firm's Present Situation Index fell to 95.2 in October, was 100.3 in June

, October 17, 2011 () – Canadians’ confidence in the economy continued its downward slide from last month, and has now dropped for four consecutive months, from its recent high in June of 100.3, to 95.2 in October. The on-going stock market turmoil, bad economic news from the US, and the unresolved debt crisis in Europe are all combining to keep consumers jittery.

“The global economy has had nothing good to offer Canadian consumers in terms of news, and the result is that our confidence continues to suffer.” said Norman Baillie-David, Vice President of TNS Canada and director of the marketing and social research firm’s monthly tracking study. “Canadians certainly don’t see the end of these problems any time soon, and the fear now is that the downward slide in confidence will cause Canadians to tighten their holiday spending plans, which will serve to bring the world’s problems home to the Canadian economy.”

The Present Situation Index, which was resilient for several months, has now gone down two months in a row, dropping again from 96.4 in September, to 95.2 (and from 99.0 in August). The Present Situation Index measures how people feel about the economy right now, meaning Canadians are becoming increasingly gloomy 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. g p y y This Index dropped almost another full point from 98.9 in September to 98.0. “Canadians certainly aren’t seeing any light at the end of the tunnel. Right now, it’s just looks like a longer tunnel” added Mr. 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 dropped more than two full points, from 95.5 to 93.4. This up and down pattern from month to month shows that Canadians’ collectively remain undecided about whether now is a good time to purchase – it’s a good time for some, not good for others, in roughly equal proportions.

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 October 3 and October 7, 2011. For a survey sample of this size, the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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