Canadian Manufacturing

Consumers testing economic waters

Toronto, Ont: Canadians are viewing the economy like the hokey pokey dance — they’ve got one foot in and one foot out.

October’s consumer confidence index rose to 96.3, up 1.5 points from September, when all indicators turned negative.

One foot in

When asked about household income, employment and the economy over the next six months, consumer confidence swung back to positive territory from a 3.5-point drop in September.

So did the buy index, which measures if people think it’s a good time for major purchases. It popped up to 95.0 points from the previous month’s 90.8.

One foot out

But Canadians were even bleaker about the current economy than they were last month. The present situation index slipped to 91.4, down from September’s 92.1.

“Canadian consumers keep cautiously testing the economic waters with one foot then the other. But they don’t seem ready to commit,” said Michael Antecol, vice-president of TNS Canada and director of the Toronto marketing research firm’s monthly tracking study.

Antecol said October’s numbers prove short-term stimulus measures aren’t working, although the improved future outlook could soon shake it all about.

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