Caution about economy leads to slight dip in consumer confidence

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In Canada, the overall measure of consumer confidence decreased slightly in the latest wave from 85.9 in May to 82.4 today. In the US, the measure stands at 68.9, a decrease from the 73.6 recorded in May.

  • Canadians remain more likely to see good times financially for themselves a year from now than bad. In total, 26% believe they will be better off a year from now, consistent with the 27% recorded in the last wave. Conversely, 14% feel they will be worse off a year from now.
  • One in five Canadians (20%) see good times ahead for the economy in the next twelve months, down from the 25% who said so in the last wave. Conversely, 16% see bad times over this same period, relatively unchanged from the 15% who said so in May.
  • In terms of how people perceive the last year, 15% indicated they were better off financially compared to a year ago, while 24% feel they are worse off. These numbers remain essentially unchanged from May when the split was 15%-23%.
  • A majority (55%) believe there will be good times financially for the Canadian economy in the next 5 years, while 32% believe there will be unemployment and recession over this period. This split remains relatively consistent with the 58%-30% split recorded in the previous wave.
  • Roughly half (49%) believe that now is a good time to make a major purchase. This is down slightly from the 53% who said so in February. Nationally, 36% believe it is a bad time to make such a purchase, up from the 30% recorded in May.

According to Senior Vice-President Doug Anderson “Although the decline was relatively small, this marks the second quarter in a row that Canadian consumer confidence has seen a slight drop. It appears to be driven by a slightly less optimistic view of the short term economic outlook.”

“Canadians appear to be optimistic about their financial prospects for the medium and long term,” said Jack Courtney, Assistant Vice-President of Advanced Financial Planning at Investors Group. “But they are also exercising caution when it comes to their short term decision making. Developing and maintaining a personal financial plan can provide increased confidence to Canadians who are seeking more stability in their financial life.”

These data were gathered through teleVox, the company’s national telephone omnibus survey for two weeks from August 19 to August 29, 2010 for just over 2,000 completes. A sample of the same size has a margin of error of 2.2%, 19 times out of 20.