Canadian Manufacturing

Canadian consumer confidence holds steady in face of lost jobs

TNS survey found consumer confidence yielded slight gains despite 30,000 jobs gone in July



TORONTO—Canadian Consumer Confidence has held firm, with some sub-indices actually gaining slightly, despite some bad economic news, according to a new survey.

According to results from a TNS survey, the Canadian Consumer Confidence Index showed a slight increase—from 94.6 to 95—in August even after Canada shed more than 30,000 jobs in July.

“Canadians are spending their time by the barbecue and not paying attention, except maybe to the Olympics,” TNS senior vice-president Norman Baillie-David said in a statement. “Unless they were one of the unfortunate ones having a lost a job, Canadians have given the recent bad news a collective shrug.”

The Present Situation Index, which measures how people feel about the economy right now, fell very slightly, from 94.7 to 94, again.

The fluctuation in both indexes aren’t large enough to represent statistical changes, according to TNS.

However, the Expectations Index, which measures people’s outlook for the economy six months from now, rose an encouraging 1.5 points, climbing from 97.3 to 98.8, regaining some of the loss of the previous month.

“This month Canadians have decided to look at the glass as being ‘half full’ instead of ‘half empty’,” Baillie-David said. “While overall confidence is holding firm, Canadians are preferring to be cautiously optimistic, maybe even hopeful about the next six months.”

The Buy Index, which measures the extent to which Canadians’ feel that now is a good time to make a large purchase, like a car or a major household appliance, also held firm, ticking slightly from 91.8 to 92.6.

TNS said the Buy Index may be the most important of the sub-indices, because if people feel now is a good time to buy, they may act on it, which will provide real economic stimulus.

“The good news is that the drop in employment hasn’t caused Canadians to hold their wallets tighter,” Baillie-David said. “However, we’ll have to wait and see what September brings when people are back from the cottage and paying full attention again.”

Consumer Confidence Index tracks Canadians’ attitudes about the economy each month and is part of a global study conducted by TNS in 18 countries.

A total of 1,014 Canadian adults were interviewed between Aug. 6 and 9, 2012.

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